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What more did I need? Wednesday, December 5, nanowrimo reflections of a creative challenge: What I did and what I did it for. I don't think I thought about whether or not I was going to do nanowrimo again this year, it was just something that I was going to do. In the last 13 months, starting on November 1, , I have written more than I have in any other 13 month period, ever. I think much of that is in part to these creative challenges. Even thought I would not consider any of these manuscripts as being especially great or even inspired, they are complete drafts and a good show of work.

I also think that these creative challenges are perfect for anyone who wanted to learn the discipline that it takes in order to get something done, to see a project from the beginning straight to the end. Wednesday, November 28, The Golden Time. I know, when I think about things, there are so many good times, there are so many highlights. But there is one time in particular that really rings true. This time rings true is only a highlight because of the feeling. It just comes down to the feeling. I did not write anything of real value.

Men, women, and children — I have no fault to find with them. And remember, child, he who rebukes the World is rebuked by the World. But I have noticed, lying at my station below the ford, that the stairs of the new bridge are cruelly hard to climb, both for old people and young children. The old, indeed, are not so worthy of consideration, but I am grieved — I am truly grieved — on account of the fat children. Then the old Mugger will be honoured again.

It was the wife of the sweetmeat-seller. She loses her eyesight year by year, and cannot tell a log from me — the Mugger of the Ghaut. I saw the mistake when she threw the garland, for I was lying at the very foot of the Ghaut, and had she taken another step I might have shown her some little difference. Yet she meant well, and we must consider the spirit of the offering.

Five times have I seen the river draw back from the village and make new land at the foot of the street.

Water Supplies (Exceptional Shortage Orders) Act 1934

Five times have I seen the village rebuilt on the banks, and I shall see it built yet five times more. I am no faithless, fish-hunting Gavial, I, at Kasi today and Prayag tomorrow, as the saying is, but the true and constant watcher of the ford. There is one very unpleasant peculiarity about the Adjutant. At uncertain times he suffers from acute attacks of the fidgets or cramp in his legs, and though he is more virtuous to behold than any of the cranes, who are all immensely respectable, he flies off into wild, cripple-stilt war-dances, half opening his wings and bobbing his bald head up and down; while for reasons best known to himself he is very careful to time his worst attacks with his nastiest remarks.

At the last word of his song he came to attention again, ten times adjutaunter than before. The Jackal winced, though he was full three seasons old, but you cannot resent an insult from a person with a beak a yard long, and the power of driving it like a javelin. The Adjutant was a most notorious coward, but the Jackal was worse. Little jackals are very common, child, but such a mugger as I am is not common.

  1. The Second Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling;
  2. Water Supplies (Exceptional Shortage Orders) Act .
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For all that, I am not proud, since pride is destruction; but take notice, it is Fate, and against his Fate no one who swims or walks or runs should say anything at all. I am well contented with Fate. With good luck, a keen eye, and the custom of considering whether a creek or a backwater has an outlet to it ere you ascend, much may be done. It was before I had come to my full growth — before the last famine but three by the Right and Left of Gunga, how full used the streams to be in those days!

Yes, I was young and unthinking, and when the flood came, who so pleased as I? A little made me very happy then. The village was deep in flood, and I swam above the Ghaut and went far inland, up to the rice-fields, and they were deep in good mud. I remember also a pair of bracelets glass they were, and troubled me not a little that I found that evening. Yes, glass bracelets; and, if my memory serves me well, a shoe. I should have shaken off both shoes, but I was hungry. I learned better later. And so I fed and rested me; but when I was ready to go to the river again the flood had fallen, and I walked through the mud of the main street.

Came out all my people, priests and women and children, and I looked upon them with benevolence. The mud is not a good place to fight in.

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He is the godling of the village. But that goat I accepted, and went down to the Ghaut in great honour. Later, my Fate sent me the boatman who had desired to cut off my tail with an axe.

Undertaker's mind game on Kane

His boat grounded upon an old shoal which you would not remember. He was sleeping in the bows, and, half awake, leaped over to his waist — no, it was no more than to his knees — to push off. His empty boat went on and touched again below the next reach, as the river ran then. I followed, because I knew men would come out to drag it ashore. This was hunting on a scale that impressed him. I went no farther, but that gave me three in one day — well-fed manjis boatmen all, and, except in the case of the last then I was careless , never a cry to warn those on the bank.

A little thought in life is like salt upon rice, as the boatmen say, and I have thought deeply always. The Gavial, my cousin, the fish-eater, has told me how hard it is for him to follow his fish, and how one fish differs from the other, and how he must know them all, both together and apart. I say that is wisdom; but, on the other hand, my cousin, the Gavial, lives among his people. MY people do not swim in companies, with their mouths out of the water, as Rewa does; nor do they constantly rise to the surface of the water, and turn over on their sides, like Mohoo and little Chapta; nor do they gather in shoals after flood, like Batchua and Chilwa.

MY people are otherwise. Their life is on the land, in the houses, among the cattle. I must know what they do, and what they are about to do; and adding the tail to the trunk, as the saying is, I make up the whole elephant. Is there a green branch and an iron ring hanging over a doorway? The old Mugger knows that a boy has been born in that house, and must some day come down to the Ghaut to play. Is a maiden to be married?

The old Mugger knows, for he sees the men carry gifts back and forth; and she, too, comes down to the Ghaut to bathe before her wedding, and — he is there.

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  • Has the river changed its channel, and made new land where there was only sand before? As soon as the water has drained off, he creeps up the little creeks that men think would not hide a dog, and there he waits. Presently comes a farmer saying he will plant cucumbers here, and melons there, in the new land that the river has given him. He feels the good mud with his bare toes.

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    • Anon comes another, saying he will put onions, and carrots, and sugar-cane in such and such places. They meet as boats adrift meet, and each rolls his eye at the other under the big blue turban.

      The Second Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling : The Undertakers

      The old Mugger sees and hears. The Mugger hurries with them from point to point, shuffling very low through the mud. Now they begin to quarrel! Now they say hot words! Now they pull turbans!

      Funerals and Undertakers in Dickens's novels

      Now they lift up their lathis clubs , and, at last, one falls backward into the mud, and the other runs away. When he comes back the dispute is settled, as the iron-bound bamboo of the loser witnesses. Yet they are not grateful to the Mugger. My people are good people — upland Jats — Malwais of the Bet. They do not give blows for sport, and, when the fight is done, the old Mugger waits far down the river, out of sight of the village, behind the kikar-scrub yonder.

      Anthony ILacqua

      Then come they down, my broad-shouldered Jats — eight or nine together under the stars, bearing the dead man upon a bed. They are old men with gray beards, and voices as deep as mine. They light a little fire — ah! Let us take blood-money, a little more than is offered by the slayer, and we will say no more about it. Yet before amratvela sunrise they put the fire to him a little, as the custom is, and the dead man comes to me, and HE says no more about it.

      Those wore dainty seasons. But today they keep their streets as clean as the outside of an egg, and my people fly away. To be clean is one thing; to dust, sweep, and sprinkle seven times a day wearies the very Gods themselves. I might have known. Neither earth, sky, nor water shows charity to a jackal. I saw the tents of a white-face last season, after the Rains, and I also took a new yellow bridle to eat. The white-faces do not dress their leather in the proper way. It made me very sick.

      The boats of the English are thrice as big as this village. The Mugger opened his left eye, and looked keenly at the Adjutant. Much split off, and fell about on the shore, and the rest they swiftly put into a house with thick walls. But a boatman, who laughed, took a piece no larger than a small dog, and threw it to me. But as humans have also found, living together brings costs as well as benefits.

      One of these costs is an increased vulnerability to infectious diseases, which can spread rapidly because of regular contact with each other. This becomes critical, especially when dead bodies remain undisposed. Humans have developed elaborate rituals for the disposal of dead bodies, which in part relate to the need to reduce the spread of diseases. As a result of this, in many cultures the collection and disposal of bodies falls to a particular profession who specialise in this process.

      In a paper in Animal Behaviour , Belgian researcher Lise Diez and her colleagues investigated whether ants, like humans, needed specialists to dispose of their dead. Researchers collected colonies of the common red ant Myrmica rubra from the wild and brought them into a lab. Ant corpses were then presented to these colonies, and the worker ants that chose to collect and transport these corpses were marked with tiny plastic printed discs.

      The behaviour of these marked ants was then recorded to see if they were any different from the ants that had not been seen to carry corpses. The researchers found that corpse-carrying ants were not just undertakers, they also foraged for food. In fact, when the rates of corpse removal for individual ants were measured over periods of up to two weeks, if an ant had carried a corpse, then it was no more likely than other ants to carry another corpse. So it seems that corpse carriers are just foragers that have been temporarily diverted from their usual activities.

      But some ants showed short-term specialisation on corpse removal, repeatedly carrying corpses during short periods of time less than one hour. Why not have full-time specialists?