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ALL unaware that his fatal beauty would start more trouble than Helen of Troy's once did, the elephant calf later christened Lingga, was born among the tree ferns and cascading lianas of the Ulat—Bulu hills, in Sarawak.

This was an albino elephant calf, a white elephant. And true white elephants are rarer than albino crows, and considered sacred by several small but grimly determined nations of the East.

Lingga's mother was a very large but otherwise undistinguished slate brown cow elephant. Her skin hung in wrinkled folds about the eleven feet height of her gaunt and bony carcass, looking as though the skin had been intended for a much stouter lady. She trumpeted mournfully at the slightest provocation, and between times muttered and grumbled to herself like an ill tempered racing mehari. She was not a monogamist, as most elephants are. She had visited the elephant's Reno at least three times; and this spouse was her fourth. Why she picked him, no one of the human tribe can as much as guess.

Lingga's father, and her spouse, was tall, gaunt and shambling. He was a small eared, eleven feet three inch bull elephant, with five toes on his fore feet, and only four toes on each of the rears—though many elephants have five in back, as well. He walked on what might be termed the very tips of his fingers. But the heels of his hands also met the ground, making a long and huge print.

The father was a dark, bony beast so "left-handed" that at the middle age of forty-five, when Lingga was born to his cow, he had worn through his left tusk until it had snapped off short. He groaned deeply when he had to traverse the jungle from one mud wallow to another, for he suffered more than most of his confreres from the giant elephant leeches which swarmed over his skin.

Just one of these great leeches, which are all equipped with beaks, that let them tap the blood through a solid inch and one half of elephant hide, inflates to_the approximate size of a very fat bologna sausage. And at times, Lingga's carried forty or fifty of them on his body, bobbing and swaying with his movements like so many toy balloons. It is no wonder that the old man was spiritless and ready to groan aloud.

Possibly this had something to do with Lingga's lack of ordinary pigmentation in his thick hide. But his cantankerous nature came to him honestly. Both of his parents had been captured and partially tamed in Sarawak—and then driven-away as of little commercial use and a great deal of trouble. Both parents were grouches. And Lingga was to be an elephant devil, a real rogue. From the very start he was a problem child.

LINGGA weighed about three hundred pounds the day he was born. He was practically nothing but a huge appetite encased in a small, wabbly frame. On his second day, when his legs would support him for short periods of time, he stood 31 inches high. He nursed twelve times that day, swallowing about a gallon and one-half each time. He nursed with his mouth, not with his trunk—as a certain deep rooted superstition has it. In later life he would fill his trunk with water, then squirt it directly into his mouth; but that was a trick yet to be learned.

Even on the third day of his life, the milk was not enough. He supplemented the liquid ration with a little grass and other green stuff. In three weeks' time he was munching the equivalent of half a bale of hay, and g...

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