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!"