Frightened by the Child

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The women servants attached to the temple used to reside in Thiruvenkitam, about 2 km. East of the temple and often Padmanabhan used to be taken to those compounds and chain there. Once, Padmanabhan was standing

in the compound of one of this women, enjoying palm-leaves.The mahouts had gone away and the women engaged in preparing food in the kitchen. Her only child aged two, stepped out of the house unnoticed by any and slowly approached Padmanabhan. The child silently came near him and started playing with whatever he got, sitting under the elephant, in between his legs Padmanabhan eating palm-leaves, occasionally waving the stout stick their of and conveniently moving here and there, Within the reach of the chain. But now he was completely frightened because he felt the present of the child somewhere near his legs. But, naturally, he could not see it and instantaneously he stood there motionless, even with out swinging his long tail, which always all elephants are wont to. He had a long a heavy piece of the stalk of palm-leaf in his trunk. Now he stood holding it raising his head high, lest he should hurt the child, as he did not know, where exactly the child was. He would not even make any sound for fear that he would frighten the child. Time went on, and only when her busy work in the kitchen was over, the mother noted the absence of her child within the house. Alarmed, she hurried out calling her child aloud and suddenly screamed spontaneously on seeing her child sitting in between the legs of the elephant. The poor woman was on the verge of swooning; but soon she pulled herself together and started to urge her child in all possible ways to come away from the elephant. Meanwhile she was uttering earnestly all known names of Lord Guruvayurappan. But the child was so immersed in play that it refused to move and the helpless mother was eating her heart away. All the while Padmanabhan was standing motionless slightly waving his huge ears, as if he was asking the mother started crying aloud for help and somehow the mahouts got the scent of some danger. They came running and in no time took greatly, lowered his head, put down the huge stalk from his trunk and started swinging his tail eating the palm leaves, as if nothing had happened.

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