“Grandpa, why must we walk to this tree again?” asked Danzell.
“The route that we must take is not quite suitable for an automobile,” responded Bhoj.
“And how many hours will it take us to get there?” implored Kuroff.
“About 7,” said Bhoj.
“Ahh, that’ll take forever!” whined the boys.
“Hush, now you both wanted to go,” added Kirsa. “Hurry and eat your breakfast so that you can head out before dawn.”
They gathered their travel gear and headed west for the mango tree just as the sun breached the horizon. Luckily, the path they were set to travel was lined with mature sandalwoods; they would be spared some of the parching sunlight of a typical Indian summer day.
“Grandpa, my feet already hurt,” exclaimed Danzell half an hour into their trip.
“Oh my, what have I gotten myself in to?” thought Bhoj.
The three made their way through countryside on the tranquil dirt path. A calming breeze at their backs made it easier for the boys to handle the walk.
Just as the three began to hear to the Ganges off in the distance they came across a familiar face.
“Bhoj, what a pleasant surprise!” shouted Rasalu, Bhoj’s longtime comrade.
The two exchanged a hand shake and hug that only true friendship can elicit. The boys hadn’t seen their grandfather smile that big in quite some time.
“Well, who are these two handsome lads?” said Rasalu jovially. “Surely they can’t be kin to someone as ugly as you.”
The boys glanced at one another and broke out in the type of laughter that wrenches your stomach.
“He’s our Grandpa,” said Kuroff.
“Well, where are the three of you headed?” beseeched Rasalu.
“The mango tree,” responded Bhoj.
“That must be close to half a day’s commute from here on foot!” quipped Rasalu.
“Would you like to take my elephants? I’ll come along, too; I haven’t been to that wonderful tree in years. We would cut travel time in half.”
Bhoj looked at the boys seeking their approval.
“Yeah!” rumbled both boys jumping up and down.
“Very well, let us go and prepare them for travel,” said Rasalu.
The four then set off on the trail towards the mango tree on elephant.
“Wait till we tell Dad what we did at Grandpa’s this summer!” proclaimed Kuroff.
“He’ll be so jealous,” added Danzell.
The boys were now able to enjoy the scenery from a marvelous vantage point as they made their way west. They crossed the Ganges and began on the low incline at the base of mountain range.
“Let us stop and enjoy the scenery,” said Bhoj.
“Of course,” agreed Rasalu.
They continued in this fashion of stopping and enjoying the marvelous views all the way to the peak of the mountain.
“The MANGO tree,” shouted the boys as they breached the zenith.
Rasalu commanded the elephants to lower themselves so that the boys could hop off.
They both then darted off to touch the tree and look out over the summit of the mountain.
“Wow, Grandpa was telling the truth,” exclaimed Danzell, “there is an entire valley full of people just on the base of this mountain.”
Rasalu, taken back by the boys’ enthusiasm for the lei tree, asked, “How in the world do you have these boys so excited to explore nature?”
Bhoj responded, “Oh, you know. I still tell my tall tales from time to time.”
Bibliography: Swynnerton, Charles. Adventures of the Punjab Hero Raja Rasalu.