It’s been a while since I posted something here! Well today I have something other than a recipe to share with you.
What is it? A story!
Do you want to hear it? Do you?!
Yes! Of course you do!
Well here goes:
On this small island (called Mauritius) in the heart of the Indian Ocean, there lies a valley of astounding beauty, vivid and green with plant life. It is called ‘La Vallée des Couleurs’ (translated as The Valley of Colours). Indeed colourful pastures and beds of exotic plants extend to a range of foothills that appear a bluish purple in the distance. A walkway with several stone steps winds around down to the heart of the valley. It almost feels like a sacred place, so peaceful, so quiet – a stillness that every being longs to experience. And yet from that stillness, vibrant animal life co-habit with the plants.
One day, while grazing around Hop-Ho-Neo, a young smart playful goat, noticed the exotic palm-like tree in the middle of the meadow. Hop-Ho-Neo is always hopping and merrily galloping around; he brings some animation to this ever so tranquil valley.
This tree had always been there but he never paid any attention to it until that day. He was struck by the most wonderful idea that soon became his next challenge! He did not exactly quite know what kind of tree it was, but who cares! Hop-Ho-Neo was bored with grazing the grass underneath him and was up for some more exotic flavours instead!
The question remained how to get to those leaves he saw?! They were too high on the tree for Hop-Ho-Neo. “Ah ha! Master Sanchee!” thought Hop-Ho-Neo. And off he went towards Master Sanchee.
Master Sanchee, a rare species of giant tortoise, is probably more than a century old and peacefully lives with his family and friends in the heart of ‘La Vallée des Couleurs’.
“Meehhh! Meehhhhh! Mehh!” Hop-Ho-Neo said to Master Sanchee. (Translation: Hey! Sanchee, can you see those leaves over there? Do you think you could help me gain some height? I’m bored with grazing this same grass everyday mate!)
Master Sanchee nonchalantly lifted an eyelid without moving any other body part. Like all giant tortoise of his kind, movements are minimal but not meaningless. With time Hop-Ho-Neo has learnt to understand ‘tortoise language’ and the slow casual eyelid lift meant:
“You want to use me as a step ladder? Dear me! That tree is much too far away! I’m a century old you know, I cannot reach there in three hops like you! Go graze your grass Hop-Ho!”
“Mehhh! Meeehhh! Mehhhhhhhhh!” replied Hop-Ho-Neo, not giving up. (Translation: Oh come on! Sanchee mate! Aren’t we buddies? I could even grab a few of those leaves for you too! Apparently they taste great, an exotic variety!”
A somewhat less slow eyelid reply from Master Sanchee meant:
“Hhhh! Very well, very well, you smart ass! You win! Let’s go!”
Master Sanchee meticulously turned around facing the tree and slowly and leisurely started walking towards it. Hop-Ho-Neo, galloped to the tree and came back two times in his excitement and Master Sanchee had still not reached a quarter of the distance.
“Meehh! Mehhh!” called out Hop-Ho-Neo (Translation: Come on Sanchee! At this pace, I’m gonna die of starvation!)
Master Sanchee blinked with the right eye:
“I’m doing you a favour here and that’s the fastest I can go! Maybe you could go and watch the scenery in the meantime! And stop fluttering around like you have a pin in your ass!”
Hop-Ho-Neo felt his stomach twist with hunger and was getting impatient to bite into those exotic leaves.So, he decided to climb on Master Sanchee’s back! And up he was! Hop-Ho-Neo gently scrubbed Master Sanchee’s shell. He knew this would give him the tickle and would hasten him! This is something that Hop-Ho-Neo had learnt from the elders in the group – gently scratching the tortoise shell makes them move faster!
Master Sanchee lifted his head and became frantic with the tickling sensation that travelled from his shell to all over his body! His pace began to increase much to the delight of Hop-Ho-Neo. Sanchee almost vigorously shook his head from side to side meaning:
“Hop-Ho you have to stop this! Stop! Get off me!”
But Hop-Ho-Neo had only the exotic leaves in mind and would not get off!
Left with no choice than to keep advancing, Master Sanchee soon reached the tree. Finally! He stopped, panting and out of breath.
Hop-Ho-Neo, on the other hand, was jolly excited! He could not wait to bite into the exquisite leaves and boy they were! A medley of flavours – fresh, sweet and juicy with a slight tartness. The invigorating taste reached throughout his whole body and he felt reborn! For a minute he was drowned into another world. It was nothing like he had ever tasted before.
Coming back to his senses, he thought about Master Sanchee and had a look to what he was up to. Sanchee did not look particularly happy and was still slowly catching his breath.
“Hey! Sanchee! Have a bite into these! They’re divine!” said Hop-Ho-Neo in his ‘mehh, mehh’ talk.
But Master Sanchee was not impressed and he lifted his head ordering Hop-Ho-Neo to get off his back.
Realising that his friend actually had become very grumpy about the situation, Hop-Ho-Neo got off.
“Hey Sanchee! Really you should try these leaves mate! They’re awesome! I’m sure they’ll knock some 10 years off you!” said Hop-Ho-Neo.
“I nearly had a stroke there! I could have died walking at this pace! Rrrr!” grumbled Master Sanchee.
“Sorry dude, I was so impatient to eat those leaves,” Hop-Ho-Neo apologized, lowering his head to the grass, scrapping it with his hoof in a saddened gesture.
“Alright! Alright! Hop-Ho! But don’t you ever do that to me again!” said Master Sanchee.
And Hop-Ho-Neo was happy again as he offered a few leaves to his friend.
“Hmm! These are actually quite good! Hmm! More please! Hmmm!” munched Master Sanchee as he chewed and scoffed on the delicious leaves!
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed the story! Makes you want to go to Mauritius? I’ve actually never been to La Vallée des Couleurs myself when I was in Mauritius. What a shame! But I have seen and ridden on a giant tortoise’s back when I was a child!
I got inspired to write this story when I saw the pictures that were posted on carrotmadman6’s post.
What I really wanted to point out here is that animals are intelligent creatures and certainly not dinner! Look how cute these creatures are and how they behave, respect and co-habit with one another!
You’ll find all the series of 5 photos of the goat that climbed on the giant tortoise’s shell to reach some leaves on carrotmadman6’s blog. The photos were actually taken by a friend of carrotmadman6.
Coming up soon is the recipe for the Crusted Stuffed Carrot! Check back soon! Update: Recipe posted