Dare quest the tiger, p.1
The Tiger Hunt
By Brian Smith
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Heaven’s Light Our Guide
gormless – stupid, brainless
howdah – carriage on the back of an elephant
nautch girl – an Indian dance girl
nullah – a watercourse, river that sometimes runs dry
pukka – excellent, genuine, real
raja – king in India
sahib – sir
thug – a kind of robber and murderer in India
Welcome to a new world...
Did you think you had seen all the dangers that there are? That’s what Edward and Anthony thought too! But now they have to face fresh challenges and dangers as they leave behind their home and those they love. Why? Because Edward and Anthony have been given a new DARE!
Will they rise up to the challenge on this quest? Little do they know, but they will also make new friends and allies. And there are some surprising enemies waiting to harm them. Can you guess who they are...?
Read on to see how your heroes fare.
Edward and Anthony were sitting on the floor of the living room. Between them was a castle and an array of animals such as sheep, dogs, an elephant, some dinosaurs and a tiger. Edward was leading the dinosaurs in an attack on the castle which Anthony vigorously defended with his tin knights. The dinosaurs charged across the castle moat and went up against the walls where the knights slashed them with their swords or let loose a hail of arrows. The dinosaurs were winning the battle so Anthony quickly brought in an attack helicopter to help. While the dinosaurs bit the knights to pieces the helicopter fired its missiles and blew up a few dinosaurs. The battle was entering a critical stage and both sides were looking for new allies. There were some tanks and planes to choose from but they had already served in another battle and weren’t interesting anymore. Something different was needed. Their eyes fell on the tiger. They both reached for it.
“I need the tiger,” Edward said.
“No, I wanted it first,” Anthony replied.
“But I need it. I got it first, it’s mine.”
They both pulled as hard as they could. The battle for the castle was almost forgotten. All that mattered now was the tiger.
“Let go, Anthony!” Edward shouted.
Anthony began to cry and wail.
“Don’t fight!” their dad called to them. “There are plenty of toys, there’s no need to argue over one.”
The boys didn’t care. They struggled to get control of the tiger. Edward pushed Anthony to make his brother let go. It worked and Edward was happily in possession of the tiger. Anthony began to cry furiously.
“Edward took my tiger!” he yelled again and again.
“No, I didn’t!” Edward called back. “It’s my tiger, I didn’t take it from you.”
Annoyed by the constant shouting, yelling and crying their mum came into the room.
“Why can’t you play nicely together?” she asked. “What’s wrong with you?”
The boys started blaming each other again. This was too much for their mother. She took the tiger away from Edward and said angrily “If the two of you want a tiger so much then I dare you ride a real tiger.”
Moments later the brothers were engulfed in whirling stars. Their living room vanished from their sight and they suddenly found themselves sitting on the ground in midst of a jungle, in a time long gone.
“Oh no!” Edward said and put his hand on his forehead. “There’s another fine mess you’ve got me into.”
“It’s not my mess,” Anthony argued. “It’s your mess. You stole my tiger.”
“Whatever,” Edward said. “but now we’ll really have to stop arguing and work together if we want to get out of this adventure in one piece. You heard what mum said. We both have to ride a real tiger.”
There was no arguing about that and Anthony knew that Edward was right about that at least.
“So let’s go and find a tiger,” Anthony said sullenly. “All we have to do is ride it.”
“I don’t want to find a tiger here,” Edward said. “It’s much too dangerous. It would simply eat us. We’ll have to think of something else.”
“It’s no good sitting around here. I don’t like it here.”
Edward looked around. All about them was dense vegetation. He heard birds higher up in the trees and there was a quiet rustling of leaves on the ground where small creatures moved and slithered about. There were mosquitoes and other insects flying and crawling. The trees were so high and dense that he couldn’t see even the smallest speck of blue sky.
Edward sighed. “Without a compass we’ll just be walking around in circles.”
“And if we don’t walk we’ll be stuck in one spot until the mosquitoes have drunk all our blood.” Anthony smacked his leg. There was a dead mosquito and a small bloodstain.
They stood up and Anthony led the way.
Making their way through the dense vegetation was very slow going. Each step meant pushing aside numerous plants and branches and brushing off bugs and spiders that dropped onto them. All the while they were getting bitten by mosquitoes. It was hell. The boys both regretted fighting over the toy tiger but, of course, it was too late. They kept walking for several hours, not knowing where they were or what direction they were going in. They had never been so utterly lost before. Then the ground began to change and the vegetation was less dense. Suddenly they came out onto an open area and stood in front of the ruins of an ancient temple.
“Look at that,” Edward said. “We must be in the Far East somewhere, maybe in India or Burma.”
Anthony didn’t care. He looked at the ruins without enthusiasm.
The ruins were overgrown by trees and other plants. Mysterious carvings adorned the outer walls and there was a dark doorway that invited the unwary stranger to step in. None of the village folk who lived in the area had set foot in the temple for hundreds of years, they knew why. But Edward and Anthony knew nothing about the temple, about its history and what had befallen within its ancient crumbling walls.
Anthony looked up at the sky.
“It’s dusk already,” he said.
“Yes,” Edward agreed. “We’d better stay in the ruins tonight. At least we won’t have to sleep with all the creepy-crawlies in the jungle then.”
Left with no real alternative the boys stepped into the ancient temple. They had no light so they put their hands on the wall and felt their way in until they were far enough away from the entrance.
“I suppose that’ll have to do,” Edward said.
They sat down and looked at the entrance where darkness was falling rapidly.
“And a good night to us both,” Anthony said wishing he was at home in his own cosy bed instead of being on the stone floor of an abandoned temple.
Several hours earlier and not so many miles away from the ruined temple Sir Percy of the former East India Company was on a tiger hunt. His hunting party consisted of some twenty elephants as well as numerous bearers and servants. Each elephant carried a little house on its back called a howdah. Sir Percy and the other members of his hunting party all sat in their howdahs from where they had a good view of the surrounding countryside. On each elephant’s neck sat a mahout. A mahout is an elephant driver. The mahout directs the elephant where to go and what to do. Sir Percy sat in the howdah of the lead
The lush green vegetation offered ample opportunities for tigers to hide. An experienced tracker was following the tracks left by a huge tiger. Sir Percy was eager to bag the tiger. When hunters talk of ‘bag’ they mean kill that poor animal. He wasn’t very experienced and was not careful enough. Suddenly the hunted tiger turned on the hunters and attacked Sir Percy’s elephant.
“Pukka shooting, Sir Percy!”
The fierce beast jumped onto the elephant from behind and dug its claws into the terrified animal. One more leap and the tiger would be onto Sir Percy. With quick presence of mind Sir Percy lifted his rifle, aimed at the tiger and fired. A hit, but the tiger still clung to the elephant. Its merciless eyes glared at Sir Percy. Did the tiger still have enough strength left to leap at Sir Percy? It gathered its remaining forces and its tense muscles showed it was ready to attack. Sir Percy only had moments to reload his rifle, aim and fire a second shot. The tiger fell to the ground, mortally wounded. By the time the mahout had calmed down the frightened elephant enough to let Sir Percy climb down the tiger was already dead.
“Splendid!” Sir Percy said to his friend Colonel Thompson who came up on the next elephant. “I’ve bagged my tenth tiger now.”
The colonel smiled. “Pukka shooting, Sir Percy.”
In their language ‘pukka’ meant ‘excellent, first class or real’ so Colonel Thompson was making Sir Percy a great compliment as being a very good shot.
Sir Percy beamed. “Thanks, old chap. For a moment I thought he’d got me.”
“Yes, quite clever that
Dare Quest - The Tiger by Brian Smith / Actions & Adventure have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on20 votes