Mr. Kumar looked up and saw me. He smiled and, onehand holding onto the railing, the other waving, signalled me tocome over.
This is interesting…” He was indicating the pit. “If we hadpoliticians like these goats and rhinos we’d have fewer
problemsin our country. Unfortunately we have a prime minister whohas the armour plating of a rhinoceros without any of its goodsense.”I didn’t know much about politics. Father and
Mothercomplained regularly about Mrs. Gandhi, but it meant little tome. She lived far away in the north, not at the zoo and not inPondicherry. But I felt I had to say something.
The white wolf ran from it, racing toward the cave of night where the sun had hidden, his breath frosting in the air. On
starless nights the great cliff was as black as stone, a darkness towering high above the wide world, but when the moon came out it shimmered pale and icy as a frozen stream. The wolf’s pelt was thick and
shaggy, but when the wind blew along the ice no fur could keep the chill out. On the other side the wind was colder still, the
wolf sensed. That was where his brother was, the grey brother who smelled of summer.
“Snow.” An icicle tumbled from a branch. The white wolf turned and bared his teeth. “Snow!” His fur rose bristling, as
the woods dissolved around him. “Snow, snow, snow!” He heard the beat of wings. Through the gloom a raven flew.
It landed on Jon Snow’s chest with a thump and a scrabbling of claws. “SNOW!” it screamed into his face.
“I hear you.” The room was dim, his pallet hard. Grey light leaked through the shutters, promising another bleak cold
day. “Is this how you woke Mormont? Get your feathers out of my face.” Jon wriggled an arm out from under his
blankets to shoo the raven off. It was a big bird, old and bold and scruffy, utterly without fear. “Snow,” it cried, flapping to
his bedpost. “Snow, snow.” Jon filled his fist with a pillow and let fly, but the bird took to the air. The pillow struck the wall and burst, scattering stuffing everywhere
just as Dolorous Edd Tollett poked his head through the door. “Beg pardon,” he said, ignoring the flurry of feathers, “shall I fetch m’lord some breakfast?”
“Corn,” cried the raven. “Corn, corn.”
“Roast raven,” Jon suggested. “And half a pint of ale.” Having a steward fetch and serve for him still felt strange; not long ago, it would have