“I was studying in the junior class at that time, and was watching the whole drama from the rooftop. I don’t know what came over me suddenly. I grabbed a cane from the hands of one of the teachers and ran down the stairs and into the open. The elephant grunted and menacingly swung a branch of a tree which it held in its trunk. It stamped its feet, kicking up a lot of mud and dust. It looked frightening. But I moved slowly towards it, stick in hand. People were watching the scene hypnotised from nearby housetops. The elephant looked at me red-eyed, ready to rush towards me. It lifted its trunk and trumpeted loudly. At that moment I moved forward and, mustering all my force, whacked its third toenail on the quick. The beast looked stunned for a moment; then it shivered from head to foot — and collapsed.”
At the time of the incident Iswaran was studying in the high school. He was watching the elephant and the destructions caused by the elephant from the rooftop. To his surprise, Iswaran decided that he should do something about the situation. He took a stick from one of the teachers and ran downstairs towards the school ground. At that time, the elephant grunted when it saw a schoolboy coming near it. Then, the elephant pulled a tree and threw it.
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The elephant lifted a tree with its trunk

Later, the elephant stamped its foot on the ground, which caused a lot of mud and dust to fly into the air. The elephant seemed to be threatening Iswaran, but Iswaran was not afraid of its behaviour. Slowly, Iswaran moved towards the elephant with the stick in his hand.
The elephant stamped its foot on the mud in anger
Many people had climbed onto the terrace of their houses and were watching the incident. They were standing still and were curious to see what would happen next. Iswaran saw that the elephant had red-coloured eyes. It shows the elephant was in anger, and it was continuously staring at him.
The red-eyed elephant
The elephant again lifted its trunk and made a loud noise. Within a moment, Iswaran moved forward, gathered all his force, and quickly hit the elephant’s third toenail. The elephant stood stunned for a moment, and it was not sure what happened. Then, the elephant shivered from head to foot, and it fell on the ground and became unconscious.
The elephant fell unconscious
Meanings of the difficult words:
RooftopThe outer surface of a building's roof
Grabbed Grasp or seize suddenly and roughly
Cane A long, thin stick used, to punish someone by hitting them
Hypnotised To keep the attention so strongly in someone or something and feel that it was unable to move on from that
Trumpet Sound of an elephant
Mustering Bringing up the power to hit or attack something or someone
Whacked Hit forcefully with a sharp blow
Stunned A person or an animal gets shocked and it is temporarily unable to react
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Moments. Iswaran the Storyteller– R.K. Laxman (pp. 12-18). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.