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A proficient hunter must know how to climb trees and this story demonstrates just that.
Tiger in the Jungle
At the young age of eight, Jim Corbett was handed a double-barrelled gun. He proudly presented it to Kunwar Singh. Kunwar told Jim that now since he had a gun, he had transformed into a man and was no longer a boy. Kunwar gave him a piece of very important advice. Kunwar instilled the importance of knowing how to climb trees in Jim by narrating an incident that had occurred with him.
One April morning Kunwar Singh and Har Singh went to the jungle to hunt. Having found nothing to shoot, they began to return. While they were taking a sandy nullah that ran through the thorn-bamboo jungle, they encountered a tiger.
At first, it stared at them for a while and left but then it reappeared and began growling. The two froze and seized all movement and the tiger left. However, the tiger’s growling stirred some junglefowl and when one alighted on a branch and Har Singh fired at it. This caused the tiger to charge at them angrily and Kunwar climbed a runi tree.
Har was not as lucky for he did not know how to climb trees and got attacked by the carnivore. Kunwar fired the gun and the tiger fled but Har collapsed on the ground. He was brutally injured and his guts spilt out of his body. The lining of his stomach had been slashed from the navel to just a few fingers’ breadths from the backbone by one of the tiger’s claws.
Kunwar Singh put his intestines back into his stomach. He tied his turban around Har’s injured stomach and knotted it tight to keep everything from falling out again. They walked a total of ten miles in this condition and finally arrived at a hospital. It was night and the hospital was closed. But the doctor-babu who lived nearby was awake. The generous doctor sewed up the hole in Har Singh’s stomach and refused any payment. The women folk were in tears as they returned home.
Just as a sailor must know how to swim, a hunter ought to know how to climb trees. It is the most basic and essential skill that each huntsman must have. Perhaps the injuries could have been avoided if only Har Singh had learnt how to climb trees.