When the world was still all new, when the sky was fresh and the earth not yet soiled, when the trees breathed through the centuries and ages spoke in the voices of birds, how astonished he was, looking all around, that everything was so new, and yet looked so old. Bluejays, woodpeckers, peacocks, doves, squirrels, parakeets--it seemed that they were as young as he, yet they carried the secrets of the ages. The peacocks' calls seemed to come not from the forest of Rupnagar, but from Brindaban. When a little woodpecker paused in its flight to rest on a tall neem tree, it seemed that it had just delivered a letter to the Queen of Sheba's palace, and was on its way back toward Solomon's castle. When a squirrel, running along the rooftops, suddenly sat up on its tail and chittered at him, he stared at it and reflected with amazement that those black stripes on its back were the marks of Ramchandar-ji's fingers. And he elephant was a world of wonder. When he stood in the entry hall and saw an elephant approaching from the distance, it looked like a mountain moving. The long trunk, the huge ears waving like fans, the two white tusks sticking out and curving like scimitars--when he saw it all he ran inside, wonderstruck, and went straight to Bi Amma.
"Bi Amma, did elephants once fly?"
-- Intizar Husain
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