These days the boys sleep in the capsule. It’s got electricity and decorations and is truly a fine place to be. But it’s also damn exposed to the wilderness.
This morning, Gopal was barking. Gopal barks a lot. As usual—as in every morning—Muthu nudged the dog gently and told him to shut up. But this was no usual morning.
Meanwhile, the cat—who has taken to dwelling on the capsule roof—was particularly active. Biscotti too received a scolding.
So the animals descended but didn’t leave the boys in peace. Gopal kept barking barking barking, and began to growl and whine. Biscotti started hissing. Sleepy as they were, the boys realized there was something out there.
Slowly Muthu emerged from the mosquito net. What could it be? He rubbed his weary eyes and looked over the capsule’s rail…
There stood a cobra, huge and angry, aimed at the capsule but cut off by the dog and the cat. His hood was the size of two hands pressed together; its body thick as a man’s forearm. Big as was, side by side our Lumière guards kept the snake at bay.
Only when Muthu came down and started moving did the cobra finally leave, slithering off into the woods from which he emerged.
But because of Biscotti and Gopal, the boys didn’t awake to a surprise, no chickens were lost, and Julie nor I died of a heart attack upon leaving the house to make tea in the morning.