I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Close encounters of the elephant kind

After the morning game drive, we had brunch on the terrace of the main lodge, then had a couple of hours free time before regrouping for the afternoon activity.

I was tired, but I've never developed the ability to nap, so I sat in one of the chairs on the deck in front of my tent and leafed through a wildlife magazine.

There was a rustling-crunching sound to my right. I didn't pay attention at first, then I saw movement out of the the corner of my eye, and I looked up to see a bull elephant methodically pulling the branches off the bush next to the deck and stuffing them in his mouth, only a few feet from where I sat.

I knew I was supposed to go inside the tent but I didn't want the elephant to notice me so I sat very quietly, without moving, and didn't take any pictures even though the camera was on the table next to me. Fortunately he seemed very mellow, far more focused on the bush than on me, and I just watched him, awed by how close we were, with only the deck railing between us.

After a few minutes, he'd exhausted the possibilities of my vegetation and ambled on to the next tent, and then I took a picture.

So here he is -- my friend, the elephant.

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