As he kneeled to throw fuel on the fire the langur ran to the door of the shrine, crooned and ran back again, plucking at the man's knee.
The langurs, the big gray-whiskered monkeys of the Himalayas, were, naturally, the first, for they are alive with curiosity; and when they had upset the begging-bowl, and rolled it round the floor, and tried their teeth on the brass-handled crutch, and made faces at the antelope skin, they decided that the human being who sat so still was harmless.
The villagers saw the outline of the barasingh stalking like a shadow through the dark forest behind the shrine; saw the minaul, the Himalayan pheasant, blazing in her best colours before Kali's statue; and the langurs on their haunches, inside, playing with the walnut shells.
The fields changed their colours with the seasons; the threshing-floors filled and emptied, and filled again and again; and again and again, when winter came, the langurs frisked among the branches feathered with light snow, till the mother-monkeys brought their sad-eyed little babies up from the warmer valleys with the spring.
He heard, though he could not see, the langurs pressing about him, and behind them the uhh
They saw the barasingh standing over him, who fled when they came near, and they heard the langurs wailing in the branches, and Sona moaning up the hill; but their Bhagat was dead, sitting cross-legged, his back against a tree, his crutch under his armpit, and his face turned to the north-east.
Periyar, south Indias most popular wildlife sanctuary, is home to bison, sambar, wild boar and langur
, along with a thousand elephants and more than three dozen tigers.
Similarly, every year, hundreds of dolphin, crocodile, bustard, rhinoceros, black buck, wild ass, wild dog, nilgiri langur
(a type of monkey), red panda and lizards are poached and an estimated 700,000 birds are illegally trapped and about 70,000 of sharks are caught, yet the levels of exploitation on these species have been going unnoticed.
Though I would not have fancied meeting a tiger or a tusker along the path, it was bit of a let down to only see a giant Malabar squirrel, a langur
and an elephant (which at that distance might as well have been a giant squirrel.