Semi-autobiographical but mostly fantastical essay on growing up in the outdoors of California, and the importance of having family just as quirky and not-quirky as you are
Didier is an elephant, but he isn't sure if he likes being an elephant all that much, with his big, awkward body and boring life of carrying and lifting things for his human owner, Mr. Rahol. He lives in Mumbai with his mother, who tells fantastic tales about living in the wild before humans captured her and turned her into a domestic animal. Neither she nor the rest of Mr. Rahol's herd of elephants, however understand why Didier would rather be some other kind of animal instead.
Tugli lives happily in a metal box on a friendly street where vendors hawk wares and a Buddhist stupa sits at his back. Everything pretty much goes the same way, every day, until the day the pickle lady stops delivering the pickles. After that, a disgruntled monkey, a three-legged dog and a kindly old woman pretty much disrupt the course of Tugli's life forever.
Priscilla putters along in her usual life of bridge and gossip and coffee shops and shopping at the local markets in the small Indian town where she lives, until one morning, the mysterious man known only as the Pharsee gives her a box. The thing is filthy, twitchy and just plain wrong...but no matter what Priscilla tries, or how many cleaning boys she fires, she simply cannot get rid of it.