With the opening of that sack began a phase of my life that has not yet ended, and may, for all I know, not end before I do. It is, in effect, a thraldom to otters, an otter fixation, that I have since found to be shared by most other people, who have ever owned one. 

The creature that emerged from this sack on to the spacious tiled floor of the Consulate bedroom  resembled most of all a very small, medievally- conceived, dragon. From the head to the tip of the tail he was coated with symmetrical pointed scales of mud armour, between whose tips was visible a soft velvet fur like that of a chocolate-brown mole. He shook himself, and I half expected a cloud of dust, but in fact it was not for another month that I managed to remove the last of the mud and see the otter, as it were, in his true colours.



That sack's opening marked the start of a phase in my life that hasn't ended yet and might not, for all I know, before I do. It is, in essence, an obsession with otters that I have since discovered is shared by the majority of people who have ever owned one.


The thing that burst from this bag and onto the roomy tiled floor of the Consulate bedroom most closely resembled a very little dragon as imagined in the Middle Ages. He was covered in symmetrical, pointed scales of mud armour from head to tail, with soft velvet fur resembling that of a chocolate-brown mole showing between their tips. I half anticipated a cloud of dust as he shook himself, but it took me another month to finally get rid of the last of the mud and see the otter, to put it mildly, in his real colours.


Meanings of difficult words:

Sl. No
ValleyA low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it
CrestThe top of a mountain or hill
RipeHaving arrived at the fitting stage or time for a particular action or purpose
DownpourA heavy fall of rain
ShowerA brief and usually light fall of rain, hail, sleet, or snow
IntimatelyIn a way that involves detailed knowledge

National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). First Flight. Mijbil the Otter - Gavin Maxwell (pp. 102 - 110). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi..