Jungle Tales of Tarzan

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 19

origin, though neither
did.

For half an hour Tarzan sprawled there upon Tantor's back. Time had no
meaning for either of them. Life, as they saw it, consisted
principally in keeping their stomachs filled. To Tarzan this was a
less arduous labor than to Tantor, for Tarzan's stomach was smaller,
and being omnivorous, food was less difficult to obtain. If one sort
did not come readily to hand, there were always many others to satisfy
his hunger. He was less particular as to his diet than Tantor, who
would eat only the bark of certain trees, and the wood of others, while
a third appealed to him only through its leaves, and these, perhaps,
just at certain seasons of the year.

Tantor must needs spend the better part of his life in filling his
immense stomach against the needs of his mighty thews. It is thus with
all the lower orders--their lives are so occupied either with searching
for food or with the processes of digestion that they have little time
for other considerations. Doubtless it is this handicap which has kept
them from advancing as rapidly as man, who has more time to give to
thought upon other matters.

However, these questions troubled Tarzan but little, and Tantor not at
all. What the former knew was that he was happy in the companionship
of the elephant. He did not know why. He did not know that because he
was a human being--a normal, healthy human being--he craved some living
thing upon which to lavish his affection. His childhood playmates
among the apes of Kerchak were now great, sullen brutes. They felt nor
inspired but little affection. The younger apes Tarzan still played
with occasionally. In his savage way he loved them; but they were far
from satisfying or restful companions. Tantor was a great mountain of
calm, of poise, of stability. It was restful and satisfying to sprawl
upon his rough pate and pour one's vague hopes and aspirations into the
great ears which flapped ponderously to and fro in apparent
understanding. Of all the jungle folk, Tantor commanded Tarzan's
greatest love since Kala had been taken from him. Sometimes Tarzan
wondered if Tantor reciprocated his affection. It was difficult to
know.

It was the call of the stomach--the most compelling and insistent call
which the jungle knows--that took Tarzan finally back to the trees and
off in search of food, while Tantor continued his interrupted journey
in the opposite direction.

For an hour the ape-man foraged. A

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