Vagabond Tim

April 24th marks 300 days since I escaped from the barren unforgiving wasteland of my birth, for three hundred days I have enjoyed something known as sunshine, which sadly we do not really have in my country. So I decided to celebrate this momentous occasion by hanging out with elephants in the 40 degree sun.

A van arrived early in the morning and drove us about an hour out of Chiang Mai, all the while showing videos of how horribly elephants are treated elsewhere. With clever editing I could make any animal owner look like a monster or a saint. These granola crunching hippies are at least nice their elephants so I neglected to comment on the needless propaganda. Needless because I already gave them my money.

So we arrived and got the whole speech.
“Elephants are a few tons and can crush you like a bug.”
“Elephants are kinda unobservant and will crush you like a bug.”
“Elephants are easily startled and will crush you like a bug.”

Now I have never met a critter that actually scared me, or one that I didn’t call sweetie and pet like it was harmless. That said I have been attacked by a few animals for that exact reason.

We fed them watermelons and bananas and such, since Tilly and Lucky are blind we had to reach out and pet their trunks to let them know of impending food. This was quite a bit of fun to watch as they often seemed to be shaking hands with people.
We hung around Tilly and Lucky most of the time as they like our tour guide and followed him around.

When they were bored of being slowly fed items by tiny invisible monsters (us) they wandered off to coat themselves in mud in preparation for a bath in the river. Elephants get sunburned so they try to be as filthy as possible at all times. When we walked down to the river Lucky was standing in the middle of the water, presumably listening to our weird invisible monster feet splashing around her. Then, and remember she is blind, we started chucking buckets of water at her. Instead of smashing us like bugs, she laid down so we could reach her back.

When she was clean, after posing for some photos, she went straight for the mud pit and resumed being filthy. We ate a lunch consisting of tofu and things food eats, then went wandering about to annoy the baby elephant (7months old). After he came at me a few times for no logical reason, I began to wonder why. When I asked the tour guy, named Ten, he told me they can only see a few colours, fruit colours like yellow and red and green. I was wearing all of those colours. The upside to having a baby elephant continually confirm that I am not food is that I got some great photos of him.

We all began to pray for death in the scorching sun, elephants included, so we piled back into the van, without the elephants luckily, and headed home. Upon arrival I jumped in the pool and floated around for a while and then had a nap, pretty much the same thing the elephants did after I left.

If anyone wants to visit elephants, work for elephants mashing up food (some have no teeth) or just give them money to buy fruits. Click THIS LINK to visit their homepage.
It is also full of cute profile pictures of the elephants.

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When they asked if I wanted to take my picture I was unaware that elephants were sneaking up on me. For something so big they are amazingly quiet

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Shaking hands, sort of, with Tilly. I suppose I should have given her food, but I had run out of watermelon chunks

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For some unknown reason baby elephants are super fuzzy, but by adulthood they have mostly gone bald

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In case you have never had a chance to see the end of a trunk at close range, this is in fact what it looks like. The end bit is a finger trunk, used to pick up small things

One Comment

  1. Claire Wilkinson
    Claire WilkinsonReply
    April 25, 2014 at 05:00

    I always knew that suit would get you in trouble!

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