The very best of all the elephants belonged to the very worst of all the drivers or mahouts; and this superior beast's name was Moti Guj. He was the absolute property of his mahout, which would never have been the case under native rule; for Moti Guj was a creature to be desired by kings, and his name, being translated, meant the Pearl Elephant.
Deesa sat on Moti Guj's neck and gave him orders, while Moti Guj rooted up the stumps-for he owned a magnificent pair of tusks; or pulled at the end of a rope-for he had a magnificent pair of shoulders-while Deesa kicked him behind the ears and said he was the king of elephants.
"Deesa," said he, "you've spoken the truth, and I'd give you leave on the spot if anything could be done with Moti Guj while you're away.
As to the inconsiderable interval, have I the gracious permission of the heaven-born to call up Moti Guj?"
The twinkle died out as Moti Guj tried to look delighted.
Hold up your near fore-foot and I'll impress the fact upon it, warty toad of a dried mud-puddle." Deesa took a tent-peg and banged Moti Guj ten times on the nails.
Take up Chihun and set him on your neck!" Moti Guj curled the tip of his trunk, Chihun put his foot there, and was swung on to the neck.
Chihun thumped Moti Guj's bald head as a paver thumps a curbstone.
Moti Guj lapped his trunk round Deesa and swung him into the air twice.
and Chihun's wife called him a darling; but Moti Guj was a bachelor by instinct, as Deesa was.
The morning of the eleventh day dawned, and there returned no Deesa, Moti Guj was loosed from his ropes for the daily stint.
"Hrrump!" said Moti Guj, and that was all-that and the forebent ears.