rushed, shouting, to look at them, just because they were elephants.
To some keepers, elephants are simply children. Ram Singh and Gunga were never that to George. They were real people, old as he could never be, full of thoughts and dreams, whom he respected even when he ordered them about like slaves. Like slaves they obeyed him, but he knew that they did it because they were wise with a wisdom beyond his. Their fate of slavery had come upon them; they accepted it patiently, enduring it until the day should come when they might lie down for the last time. George—who had also dreams—used to hope that their next awakening would be in a land of great rivers and tree-covered hills—a land without men who did not understand.
The two lads who helped him to groom and feed his charges were among the men without understanding. They were better than the other hands, because he had taught them what they might, and might not, do with a "buil"; but their work with them was only part of a dull job, from which they escaped as soon as possible. George was almost always near his elephants, for they interested him far more than men. He slept close to them, in a tiny tent just large enough to hold him. When he ate his meals or taïked to other people his eyes constantly wandered towards the corner where they swayed gently above their pickets: and bef ore long he would saunter back to them, to sit and smoke his pipe in Ram Singh's shade; talking to them gently.