We are free to use the prompt in any way we like, as long as we write something—poetry, prose, drama, fact, fiction, fabulation.
With apologies to the people of India and, in particular to my Canadian-Australian friend Dr. Robin B. Jeffrey who studied the history of India for many years, and has written much about it ever since, my submission to Magpie Tales this week is complete fabulation. I know nothing about the subject I've chosen, and have made it up out of whole cloth, as the saying goes, using only the middle section of the prompt photo as my inspiration, and a bit of help from Mr. Google.
Magpie Tales #85
To see how the photo inspired others, please click HERE!
Ekavir: Bravest of the Brave
Rajiv, whose name meant elephant, was named after Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India who was assassinated the next day while seeking re-election.
Rajiv’s mother was sure it was a sign that her infant child would become a politician.
However, young Rajiv wanted nothing more than to be close to elephants. In his early teens he left home to become a mahout.
He was 20 years old when his special charge, a beautiful bull named Ekavir, became ill, and no one knew what was wrong.
“Come now, Ekavir,” he would say soothingly, “your name means bravest of the brave, and we know it is so. Be strong, Ekavir, be brave.”
Rajiv would not give up. He spent his nights sleeping near Ekavir, and his days walking everywhere, talking to mahouts, to old men and old wives, and, if he could get in, to veterinarians, and even to doctors when he saw them coming out of hospitals.
It was no use. No one had any idea what was wrong with Ekavir.
One night, Rajiv was sleeping near his beloved elephant, as usual, when he felt he had to wake up and touch Ekavir’s shoulder.
Half awake, half asleep, he touched his friend, and was sure he felt something different. He didn’t know what it was, but it made him smile, and he fell asleep, feeling everything would be right, somehow.
In the morning, there was no change. Ekavir was still very ill, and his shoulder felt the same as it always had. Rajiv was puzzled, but thought it had all been a dream, a pleasant, reassuring dream, but not real.
The next night, after another day of endless, pointless consultations, he fell asleep next to Ekavir again. Once more, during the dark of night, he got up, half-awake, and felt Ekavir’s other shoulder. There was definitely something different there, and he still didn’t know what it was, but he smiled, and slept again.
Rajiv was awakened early the next morning, hearing shouts and exclamations and many voices.
“I saw it. I did. It came from here.”
“Yes, my friend is right. It came from here.”
“My father saw it, but he cannot get up, so he sent me to tell you. It is true.”
Rajiv shook his head, then reached out to touch his friend, but Ekavir wasn’t there.
“We saw it! We did! My brother and I saw an elephant fly out of here, just as the dawn was breaking in the east. It is a sign!”
“It is a sign that all will be well. My grandfather’s father’s uncle told him, many years ago. There will be an elephant, flying at dawn, toward the sun, and everything will be right, somehow.”