Sunday, September 6, 2009

An Elephant Tale



First, please imagine hearing this story in your best "Queen's English." That's the way it was related to me. The teller was James, a Londoner, a colleague of Hubs, and a good friend to us both. Last year, James took his family on a much-anticipated safari to Africa. His son, Christopher, 12, was especially keen to see wildlife and have a story to share with his mates at school.

Elephants in the wild are not to be trifled with. They can be fierce and protective and, when riled, quite dangerous. Christopher was sternly warned in advance that if elephants were encountered, they were not to be disturbed in any way. Soon enough, the family's guided jeep tour came upon a herd of grazing elephants. It was not long before a baby elephant ventured forward to investigate these strange creatures from an alien world. The calf's chosen specimen was...Christopher! He reached his trunk inside the vehicle for a very close "look" at the frozen lad. His parents too, sat with bated breath, praying that Christopher had the presence of mind and courage to recall and heed the prior instructions, to do nothing that would provoke the calf. The herd remained an ominous presence in the near distance.

Suddenly, an adult member of the herd bolted forward and snatched the young 'un away from the boy in the jeep. Next, the calf was being dragged away, screaming in protest while the larger animal, now obviously its mother, thrashing away with her enormous trunk, spanked the poor bairn all the way back to the herd. As the jeep finally drove off, James swears he heard the scolding tones of a distressed mother, "What did I say to you? Never go near those awful humans, they are nah-sty, nah-sty creatures, I tell you!"


62 comments:

solarcrete said...

Ivy,

That's a wonderful story, and you had me right there with you Christopher. It also reminded me of my Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan tales: My favorite when I was a young bull elephant.....

Carol said...

Very cute Ivy! I watch a lot of nature programs and elephants can be very dangerous. My personal philosophy is be careful around anything bigger than I am and elephants are much bigger.

I'm even nervous around cows and horses and even big dogs. My stepfather, a 80y/o farmer, who raised cows most of his life made the mistake of trying to pet one of the bulls he raised on a bottle. That bull showed his appreciation by throwing him about 20 feet in the air. He landed in a big ditch and ended up with a complete separation of his shoulder.

solarcrete said...

with young Christopher that is.

Carol said...

Were you an elephant in one of your last lives Solar?

solarcrete said...

No, Carol. Some people said that I was a big Ape, tho HA.!

My favorite animal's are the great apes, and the Grizzly. The two animals that amaze me more, and don't look like they belong, are the Giraffe, and the Rhino....

jwayland said...

Isn't it funny how the young ones of one species will be drawn to young ones of another species? The baby elephant picked out the youngest in the human group to visit. Young Christopher certainly had a story to tell his mates.

Ivy Green said...

Glad you enjoyed it. Carol, you are correct about respect for the large animals. My friend the Bear Woman recently began volunteering to care for Rescue Horses. She had an incident just last week where she was holding a bridle while the farrier was shoeing, and the animal spooked and bolted. They were both knocked off and the farrier got thrown into the wall. Nobody got hurt, but it was scary.

Ivy Green said...

Jan, yes indeed, and his parents were quite proud of the way he handled himself.

Ivy Green said...

James "heard" the mother elephant scolding; I imagined the calf squealing, "but I was having fun!"

jwayland said...

Giraffe's are my favorite of the exotic animals. Their faces are so adorable. I also love watching the gorillas. Several years ago I was visiting the Little Rock zoo and a gorilla was sitting on his little rug. He was watching us as we were watching him. After a few minutes he seemed bored with this activity, he stood up, picked up his little rug, folded it very carefully (very human-like)into the size of a pillow, then put the rug back on the ground, laid down and put his head on it. At that moment, I felt guilty for watching him, as if I were some sort of a peeping-tom.

Chloe said...

Ivy, To have something like that happen and to live to tell about it. What a great story. I love that elephant picture also. Great post Ivy. Perfect!

Emma's favorite animal at this point is her little stuffed elephant, Ivy. She likes it because she can chew on the trunk. She's at that age where everything goes into the mouth: Everything.

Solar, You mentioned the Giraffe, and that's another one Emma loves, because it's got a long, skinny neck she can chew on. An ape she doesn't have yet, but she has a little monkey with long floppy legs and arms she really likes.

Carol, If I remember correctly, Holly Golightly just called her cat: Cat.
I called my first cat Kitty. I always wait and watch their personality for a while, before I name them. That personalizes it a little more. (Do you remember Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's?)

Chloe said...

Jan, Your mentioning the zoo made me wonder why I haven't been to one in so long.

jwayland said...

Ivy, your posting reminds me of a book/novel I read a few months ago, "Water for Elephants" I don't remember the name of the author. It was a great story about a young man who joined a circus.

Chloe said...

Ivy, You're friends lucky she was hurt worse. Horses can be very dangerous animals, simply because they're so nervous and flighty. Especially when they don't know you.

jwayland said...

Carol, one of my favorite memories of long ago is when my 2 oldest boys and I came to your stepfather's farm to ride horses with you. The stirrips did not fit me well and the next day the inside of my thighs were black and blue from bouncing up and down, and I could hardly walk. It was great fun. I still have some pics from then.

jwayland said...

Ivy, where does she get the name "Bear woman?"

jwayland said...

Chloe, I have missed your postings about Emma. Is she your baby?

Chloe said...

They have some great animal pictures in this set of the most recent 'moste emailed photos'. To me, the panda bears are to die for. I just love the way they look. But this first picture of emperor tamarin monkey twins are unbelievably cute. Hyperlinks don't work here, so it's a copy and paste address.
http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Most-Emailed-Photos/ss/1756/im:/090902/ids_photos_wl/r595584180.jpg#photoViewer=/090821/480/bdb6e2b694f546a9b0169ebd65da7661

Chloe said...

Grandbaby Jan. 7 months old.

Carol said...

When I would work cows all day, and hadn't done it in a while, my inner thighs would get very sore from holding on to the horse with my legs. One day I made the mistake of putting some Ben Gay rub on them because it had helped take the soreness out of my arms after working out.

Well after pulling up my undies a few times when using the bathroom, I got some of that stuff in a sensitive place. Wooo hoo. Can't even wash that stuff off when it gets in that area. ,

Carol said...

Jan, I still have those pics of you and the boys riding horses out there also.

Ivy Green said...

Oh sorry, Jan, I made an assumption it was "known." It came from dialogue that started on Trail Mix between me and a TM poster who has bears on her property. My best friend in PA has a cabin in the mountains, and there are bears also on her property.

From there I began referring to my PA friend as She-Who-Lives-With-Bears, and then "Bear Woman." All with the utmost affection. We are life-long friends.

We got "up close and personal" with the bears this summer while visiting the cabin...the bears came up to the porch, and there was nothing between us but a flimsy sliding screen door! To say I was nervous puts it mildly! In fact, I was relating that very story to James that prompted him to recall and share his elephant story.

There is a lot about Carol that reminds me of "Bear Woman." They are both factual and rational, not prone to too much silliness. You're hearing this, right Carol? As you are fond of saying, it's synchronicity.

Ivy Green said...

Carol, the same thing can happen with Vicks Vapo-Rub...

Carol said...

Yes, I am too, silly.

Carol said...

You tried that Vicks, Ivy? Hate to have to admit it but I used some Vicks to cool off an itch when I was in Junior High. Gosh, are some people stupid.

Chloe said...

Carol is often 'very' funny. But I also agree with Ivy's description of "factual and rational". I don't know about silly. Silly and funny are two different things, imo.

Ivy Green said...

No you're not.

Yes, I am.

No. You're NOT.

I am too, quite silly...Silly, silly, silly...

You win. You're silly.

Carol said...

I think I told you about the time I microwaved my underwear, didn't I?

Carol said...

The time I applied unvalidated research?

Ivy Green said...

Vicks is back. He signed on with the Eagles.

No, wait...the other Vicks. It's back too...supposed to cure toenail fungus. I don't have that, but I aim to prevent it.

Carol said...

I didn't want Vick back. I don't think he ought to be back in the NFL after what he did.

Chloe said...

Ok, You win. You're both silly.

... see y'all tomorrow.

Ivy Green said...

'nite, Chloe. Have a great night. Let us know what's on your Kindle.

Chloe said...

I'm reading Rain Gods now Ivy. Bethy turned me onto James Lee Burke, and this is the third or forth novel of his I'm reading now.

Ivy Green said...

I'm willing to give anyone a chance to atone for their "sins." If Michael Vick can do more good for dogs than the damage he caused, it may give meaning to the animals' suffering. He has yet to prove himself. The other question is whether or not he served enough time for the crime?

Carol said...

Yep, it's bedtime for Bozo here too. We're already here in the bedroom, hunkered down. Just had a nice thunderstorm and with all the windows in the living room, it's like sitting in a goldfish bowl.

The thunder got so loud that Maggie actually came out from under the bed and came to bring me back in the bedroom with her.

Ivy Green said...

Chloe, I'll check it out. He must be a good writer if you're on the fourth book. I think I googled him after the TM discussion, but I don't remember.

Ivy Green said...

Poor Mags!

Ivy Green said...

'Nite y'all...

Carol said...

We have a kid in jail now for killing this old sick dog. He used some kind of sword and tortured the dog. All of us in the medical department have some difficulty dealing with that kid and he is a nice looking and acting kid.

I don't understand it. I even asked him the other day why he did it. He didn't have a good explanation. He did say the dog bit at him once. I think he was on drugs at the time but even drugs don't explain that kind of cruelty.

Ivy Green said...

No, Carol, it's senseless. That's why we can't in our right minds find any rationalization to it...it's impossible to rationalize the irrational.

The kid needs a spider plant.

Chloe said...

Carol, I came back to take a last look, and what do I find. You talked about something depressing. Here we had a nice, happy thread going, and you had to tell us about that poor dog. (Can you just delete that last post? - so we can start tomorrow happy)

Ivy Green said...

Carol, how long will the kid stay locked up?

Carol said...

I think they are going to give him several years. They threw the book at him.

Remember Chloe, every now and again, a skunk must walk thru.

Carol said...

And anyway, Ivy started it.

Carol said...

I was talking about Vick's twat rub and she went off on Vick, the asshole that needed some.

Ivy Green said...

Yes, it was my fault.

Chloe said...

Hey Carol, I had to come back and fire up my computer, because I started thinking you might take me seriously. I wanted to make sure you knew I was kidding around. I have a very weird sense of humor sometimes.

Chloe said...

I know Carol. There must be quite a few skunks at the prison.

Ivy Green said...

Carol, the kid doesn't sound like he has any remorse, or that he knows he did something wrong. You can't have atonement if you don't see and admit your wrong-doing. I would ask the kid that question, does he see he did anything wrong? (Maybe you asked him and got the same "I dunno" response?)

Carol said...

Yes, he did admit it was a mistake, said he even has a dog, but if someone can even do something like that then something is wrong inside his head. He is such a nice looking kid. It's sad.

Carol said...

I'm sure his biggest regret is being in jail. That is most of their biggest regrets, not the crime but getting caught.

Carol said...

Sorry Chloe, cover your eyes. We though now.

Ivy Green said...

Carol, if he's only sorry he got caught, then he's not authentically remorseful. His real punishment is the self-loathing that he hides from everyone. He has a long way to go, and a lifetime of misery unless he makes some changes.

Done now.

Carol said...

Nite sistas

jwayland said...

Ivy, I would like to hear more about Bear Woman. Bears are nothing to mess with. I would have had to change my underwear if I had been in that cabin. I'm saying good night too. I heard someone say on TV the other day, "Watch your Beagle, Vicks and Eagle."

Carol said...

Anyone out there lurking who wants to join our club can, but you have to know the secret handshake...

jwayland said...

Carol, I miss the storms. Don't get much rain here. G'nite.

Carol said...

or you can write a six line essay on how you could contribute to the intellectually stimulating conversation we have everyday. Get busy.

Carol said...

Jan, I'd have sent this one over but it's already gone. We were supposed to have had 50-60% chance of rain both yesterday and today but it waited until after dark tonight. That was a blessing.

Ivy Green said...

Jan, I'm sure I'll be relating more of Bear Woman's adventures. She's always doing something interesting, and there's almost no question she doesn't know the answer to.

After the bears left, we realized we'd been out-of-doors WITH the bears for quite a few minutes before "Bear Husband" spotted them. I do have pictures of the bears that were taken a year or so ago. The ones we tried to take this time were too dark. If I can do a bear post in the near future, I will try. I have to have a story to go with it, and I've already related the "big bear story." Unless I tell an old one about "sleeping with the bears."

jwayland said...

Ivy, I would love a bear story and look forward to seeing the pictures of the bears. The bear symbol means a lot to the Navajo. I can't remember if the bear symbolizes good health or longevity - I think it is one of these. I have several necklaces with bears that a lovely Navajo lady sold to me. I always feel good when I wear one of them.