Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Indian Ocean and The Elephant

Walking the pristine beach near Galle, Sri Lanka one hot sunny afternoon, my friends and I happened upon a man and his "working" elephant.  We managed to communicate with various signs and a few words that if I would buy several bananas for his elephant, he would let me ride this magnificent creature.

Eagerly I bought a huge bunch of bananas, ensuring a long ride on this gigantic but somehow contented and kind looking animal.  The elephant's owner patiently showed me how to climb aboard his charge.

Awkwardly and not the least bit gracefully, this very white woman in a brightly colored swimsuit made her way to the heights of the gentle elephant.  Sitting directly behind its ears and hanging on for dear life, the elephant and I, with encouragement from his keeper began our adventure.  We made our way down the beach and out into the ocean and back to the beach, stopping only when the rough trunk reached back to remind me that he was in the rather embarrassing situation (of having a gangly-legged woman perched on his back) for only one reason--another tasty banana.  Up close and personal with "my" elephant!

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