Well I’m back! And oh me, oh my, I feel like there’s a good deal of things I need to share with you.
There’s the emotional-spiritual things that I learned, but let’s be honest here. What would you prefer to see: yet another long, tear-streaked post about my inner psyche… or photos of me PETTING AN ELEPHANT?!
Yeah. I thought so. Continue reading »
This is Three, a mature mama elephant, so named because that was the number of the container in which she arrived at the game preserve.
I was a bit tentative around her, not just because she could gouge out my innards with her tusks if something caught her eye suddenly… but because her feet were the size of tree trunks. Should she plonk one of her footsies down on one of mine? Well, there goes my tap dancing career.
And despite the fact that we have all probably seen zillions of photos of elephants, and maybe even seen a couple sad ones at the zoo, in person, with only inches between us, I still gasped in wonder when I saw her. She is marvelous.
Here are things you notice when you’re up close and personal with an elephant. She doesn’t smell. She has insanely long eyelashes (I’m talking a couple of inches), which don’t grow uniformly in one direction… north, south, east, west; they stretch out wherever their fancies take them. They look thick, even a little coarse. Her skin is wonderfully rough, a little like the surface of an old barn that has seen its share of afternoon storms. Rough, a little prickly, but soulful, inviting. And then, just as you think you get her, someone tells you to stroke the back of her friendly, Africa-shaped ears. Oh! What a surprise! No wood barns here. Just soft, smooth leather, cool against your sun-warmed hands. Oh to be back there again, as golden hour kisses the tall grass and paints everything and everyone in a magical golden glow, cooing at Three as she searches with quiet determination for the next clump of sweet grass.
Three has two babies, one biological, one adopted. I can’t remember which one this was, but I do know that I wanted to take her home with me, especially after she ate some grass straight out of my hand. Once you let me feed you, you have my heart.