Kala Nag, which means Black Snake, had served the Indian Government in every way that an elephant could serve it for forty-seven years, and as he was fully twenty years old when he was caught, that makes him nearly seventy--a ripe age for an elephant.
His mother Radha Pyari,--Radha the darling,--who had been caught in the same drive with Kala Nag, told him, before his little milk tusks had dropped out, that elephants who were afraid always got hurt.
And then he spied Kala, who, returning from a search for food with her young babe, was ignorant of the state of the mighty male's temper until suddenly the shrill warnings of her fellows caused her to scamper madly for safety.
With a low cry of dismay Kala rushed headlong to its side, thoughtless now of the danger from Kerchak; but when she gathered the wee, mangled form to her bosom life had left it.
Give Kala Nag and Nazim twelve foot of chain apiece, and tell them to lay on twenty."
Kala Nag-which means Black Snake-and Nazim were two of the biggest elephants in the lines, and one of their duties was to administer the graver punishment, since no man can beat an elephant properly.
Even then, before there was the slightest proof to the contrary, I knew that you were mistaken in the belief that Kala was your mother.
And so I am as happy to think of Kala as my mother as I would be to try to picture the poor, unhappy little English girl who passed away a year after she bore me.
Of course Kala
had been beautiful--one's mother is always that--but Teeka was beautiful in a way all her own, an indescribable sort of way which Tarzan was just beginning to sense in a rather vague and hazy manner.
And then, briefly and for the first time, Tarzan of the Apes told his son of his early life--of the birth in the jungle, of the death of his parents, and of how Kala
, the great she ape had suckled and raised him from infancy almost to manhood.
The training of Kala
, the examples and precepts of Kerchak, of Tublat, and of Terkoz now formed the basis of his every thought and action.
's shaggy breast he had closed his infant eyes in sleep upon countless nights in years gone by to the savage chorus of similar roars.