Jim Corbett, ace hunter and inimitable raconteur, was also a gifted observer, not just of the jungle but also of the people around him. In the seventeen sketches included in The Hunter’s Friends, readers will meet the men and women Corbett lived, hunted and worked with, both in Kumaon—Corbett’s stomping grounds for most of his life—and in Mokameh Ghat, where he was employed by the Railways.
‘Kunwar Singh’, intrepid poacher of the Kaladhungi jungles, tells young Corbett the cautionary tale of his friend, who was taught a harsh lesson by a tiger because he couldn’t climb trees; in ‘Putli and Kalwa’, Corbett befriends a brave young girl leading a bullock to her uncle’s house even as the man-eater of Muktesar prowls about in search of a victim. And, in ‘Adventures with Magog’, Corbett’s delightful and touching profile of his hunting dog, he describes the terrifying yet funny consequences of disturbing a sleeping tiger.
Compassionate, insightful and witty, The Hunter’s Friends is a book to read and to keep returning to.