Thought I should follow up yesterday’s post about elephant watching with a view from the “other side”.
The bipeds come roaring out of the trees in their noisy stink spewing wheeled things. They point those things that make clicking noises at you and click away. Invariably at least one will makes some sort silly noises that bipeds make. We don’t pay much attention but it gets the kids nervous. Specially the very young ones who get frightened and huddle next to their mothers. Usually there’s no simple explanation to the question “what’s happening amma?”
It’s specially worrying when they point they’re clicking things at the kids. To make matters worse one of the tough guys in the herd, — typically the loner types — gets agro on the bipeds. Thankfully nothing violent happens but all of a sudden you have to keep the kids occupied and the hot head calm. It’s a lot of work. When the bipeds finally leave, somebody always starts up the old topic of moving to a better neighbourhood. What they don’t realise is that good real estate is hard to find. Beside you never know what kind of characters you’ll find at other water holes. From what I’ve heard the bipeds in other places are really nasty. There’s been plenty of stories going about murders and abductions.
The herd elder says we got it good — and we might as well stay as long as we can eat and drink. He says its worse elsewhere. His whole family was killed right in-front of him when he was 10. I think that’s why he’s in such a sad mood a lot of the time. Good thing is that he instantly forgets all that when we send the little ones with hang around him. It only works when the bipeds are not around. Everyone thinks things are going to get worse but not how to deal with it.
Guest Author Profile
The author is a former editor of the militant Stampede! Magazine. While leading a herd in one of Sri Lanka’s largest national parks, she also serves a the life style columnist for Tusk, and editor in chief of Elephantimes. She recently co authored the award winning book “Thinking big: a modern elephant’s guide to raising your child, keeping the herd together and staying sane in the face of rising biped intrusion.”