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Mummy's boy Johnno

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Jaya's four sub adult siblings are seldom seen together these days, except around feasts.

Johnno though is the shiest of the family. He’s always been the least adventurous, even though he is growing into a handsome and virile young tiger.

This afternoon however, he showed a bit of his hidden courage, moving towards an area his three sisters had settled into - deep thick cover - that meant having to cross an open track to join them. Raucous red bottomed Rhesus macaque’s chuntered in the trees and chital deer moved unhurriedly away from his presence recognising that he was not hunting but merely moving to be nearer his entourage. Wary of noise, Johnno moved tentatively, sticking his head out of cover but deciding against the crossing. He settles warily behind a bamboo clump shadowed in dark shade to contemplate his next move. Minutes later, Dutch courage restored, he got up and carefully picked his way towards the sandy track, but once again succumbed to acute shyness and sat down yards from the sandy road to rethink his path, given the phalanx of cameras at the ready to record his nervous crossing.

More used to his far more extrovert sisters, especially Trya, taking the lead, Johnno is paralysed by irrational fear, even though the natural obstacle and its vehicle based onlookers have been part of his world since he was born. For all his male countenance, in reality, he is still a bit of a mummy’s boy.

He will not move again till the sun drops below the hill’s ridgeline and darkness offers him the peace and quiet he prefers.

Copyright Kay Tiwari