By Abhijit Dey

Listen along to an audio version of this article on our YouTube Channel: Click HERE to listen!

Ever wonder if young animals play in the jungle? Even if they do, where do they get a toy or take a joy ride? Well, nature certainly does provide everything to these youngsters! A little bit of application of mind and suddenly all possible playing items are handy – be it a simple twig, a tree branch, or even their mothers’ tail!

Let’s see one such example – how a bunch of smart langur kids found a perfect position in the forest, to turn it into their roundabout.

There was a flat-surfaced big rock amidst other uneven boulders inside the forest. This flat upper surface of the rock was a bit inclined and formed a nice little slope. At the upper end of this rock, there was a tree; leaning on the rock – created another slope but in the opposite direction. And at one point, there was a nice tiny branch hanging from the tree trunk and just below that, was flat dusty forest floor.

Langur playtime! (Illustration by Abhijit Dey)

Perfect! This group of five to six baby langur created their very own merry-go-round. They started from the base of the tree. Climbed its inclined trunk. Grabbed that hanging branch. Swung in the air for a while before jumping on the forest floor. Cherished their swing and jump routine for a while by sitting or rolling on the ground and then reaching the tree base again by climbing the flat rock surface. And they were going round and round – maintaining the order, without breaking the queue. Now that’s called self-discipline! Naturally, as in every group of playmates, there were a few naughty kids who tried to break the queue, but with a little bit of hair (fur) pulling and shouting at them by others, the order was restored. That’s called self-governance, you see.

After a while, they even discovered that the rock surface could even be used as a slide. So, their merry-go-round got another component now – a slide. And the fun doubled.

So as the kids do, they continued to play; until, just like us, their parents interfered – ‘enough of playing, it’s time to return home’. And again, just like us, a few obeyed their parents and the rest had to be dragged.

Game over. ☹

But only for now!

About the Author:

Abhijit Dey is a student of ecology and conservation science who loves to spend time with nature, watching animals in action.