Life, loyalty & freedom!

Friday, 19 March 2010
Being an 11 year old child I craved adventure and one faithful summer, after seriously begging for it, my parents decided to take us to the famous Kruger Park.

From spending a lot of my childhood in rainy England, I think the biggest animal I came across was a sheep. Grazing there on our meadow walks, it wasn’t that exciting. Africa on the other hand is the complete opposite. In Africa, things are big! Big storms, big droughts, big trees, big mountains, the big 5 and of course, the great and mighty elephant.

I wanted to see an elephant! During the 5 days we were there I saw lots of Africa’s spender ranging from exquisite bucks, to elegant giraffes to proud rhino’s and even some sleepy lions. On our way out of the reserve I gave up, considering that elephants are so big, I could not quite believe that we had some how missed them. At that moment i did not know how wrong I was.

The cue to get out of the Kruger was about 10 cars deep and we accepted the fact that it was going to be a long sit in the boiling car. But just then we saw them, a heard of about 5 elephants lunching close to the road. In fact they began to walk towards the cars. This worried the bumper to bumper 10 car cue and people began to put on reverse lights to try and get the traffic moving. My father, a wise and calm man, who was sitting in the drivers seat at that time, told us to just relax and sit still.

I was too excited to care, as to the right of us a baby elephant moved into the road and in front of our car. An adorable little thing which started to panic with an adorable little squeeky, trumpet trunk. Being so young I did not realize that this was your first warning to MOVE! My father and mother both looked at us on the back seat, then looked at each other. I saw that their normally red faces in 40 degree C weather, were white as snow... Almost green. There was no way to go forward with the baby and as my father was looking around for a solution, She stepped out onto the road. She being the mother and gorgeous 3 meter tall and probable 3,000 kilograms of pure motherly instinct was looking at us.

Before I could say ‘help’ she was charging, ears flapping, trunk rearing, feet moving (very fast I might add for that big bulk). And my dad put us into reverse. Luckily the people behind us were wiser to the elephant attack escape routine. They had seen what was going to happen and had reversed at the sight of the baby. We made it, but only just! I swear her trunk almost touched the open window!

So I got my adventure and now I love elephants even more!

Do yourself a favour and read ‘The Elephant Whisperer’ by Lawrence Antony. I can officially and proudly say it is by far my favourite book! Many a time it had me laughing out loud or crying at how beautifully Lawrence describes our magnificent Africa! He also has a website and other books. Truly a proudly South African story to be... Proud of!

“When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of 'rogue' elephants on his reserve at Thula Thula, his commonsense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival - notorious escape artists, they would all be killed if Lawrence wouldn't take them.

He agreed, but before arrangements for the move could be completed the animals broke out again and the matriarch and her baby were shot. The remaining elephants were traumatised and very angry. As soon as they arrived at Thula Thula they started planning their escape... into the waiting guns. As Lawrence battled to create a bond with the elephants and save them from execution, he came to realise that they had a lot to teach him about love, loyalty and freedom. Set against the background of life on the reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, this is a delightful book that will appeal to animal lovers everywhere.” - Publishers Description

Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd
ISBN: 9780283070877
Publication date: June 2009
Pages: 288
Illustrations: illustrations


PS. * Learning About Life, Loyalty And Freedom


Yvette said...

Hi, I loved your write-up about Lawrence's new book. I have the good fortune of working with Lawrence. I know he loves to hear about people enjoying his book, so I'll pass on your positive comments. Kind regards, Yvette (I run The Earth Organization that he mentions in the book.)

Jaxi said...

Thank you so much Yvette!

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