The Elephant - 482

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The Elephant.

I think the finest film I ever saw was Elephant Boy. It was up at Ootacamund, in the Blue Mountains, away above the forests which are the home of hundreds of wild elephants. A few days before the film came a planter told me he had counted seventy three elephants outside his compound at the foot of the mountains. And some of my friends actually knew the best of the elephants we saw' on the screen ; they belong to the Mysore Government.

To me it was wonderful to see those noble beasts roaming through the woods and fording rivers, and to hear their strange squealing in that dim hall. And if I had liked I could have gone among them the next morning, by leaving before daylight and motoring forty miles towards Calicut. Many people do that, and the forest officers arrange for elephants to be waiting for them at a certain place. There they leave their cars and mount the elephants and go for a long ride in the forest, where they may see deer and boar and maybe a panther or a python.

Some people are not so fortunate. One morning two of my friends had just mounted an elephant when a motor-horn tooted. The elephant took fright and ran off. It would not stop, and as it crashed through
the trees some low branches swept my friend and his wife off its back. They were not badly hurt, but one of (hem was covered with scratches. About a month ago there was an auction of elephants at Nilambur, still further towards Calicut. Many people went from Ootncamund and had an interesting time. On their way back, one old lady was in her car climbing a ghat with a very steep hill side on each side of the road. Suddenly a big tusker came sliding down the slope. He could not stop, but ran across the road and wen* sliding down the hill below. The driver .stopped the car only six feet from the elephant as it rushed in front of them. If they had been one second sooner, the car would surely have been smashed to bits, and the people killed. It was a very narrow escape. © 2016 - 2020. Powered by Blogger.
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