Bathing elephants

In the words of the author: I once had a whole week was a dream job. Every morning I washed the elephant. Inside a lot of useful in case if you have ever displayed an elephant or a desire to stop everything and do something really wonderful. On the Thai island of Ko Lanta, which oozes coconut milk and wild honey, five minutes away from our hut on Klong Dzharke have cultural camp elephants, which rolled tourists through rubber wood. Under the guise of tourists there and I entered. And even to ingratiate himself with the slonovodam, once paid for a ride. And only then:
- What, then wash the elephants? And how much?
- At seven in the morning.
- I will come to help.

Before washing the elephant, it must feed, otherwise what's the point. On the day of six elephants eat pineapple truck tops. This. First unload it themselves, then lounge around the tops of the palm trees to frayed and then chew. Kilograms of 30-40.

It turns out the next day about 10 kilos elephant dung. He is here everywhere, but no one (ie elephants slonovodov and me) it does not bother, because the natural environment - not an elephant, so there does not stink and smell very neprotivno life.

Generally elephant dung cool stuff. Due to the fact that a huge amount eaten, the texture is very rough and quick digestion, food is not really time to decompose, and get a bunch of slightly fermented chew straw. Enterprising Indians even do pricked from her paper. Saw Ganesha portrayed with a scroll? Here.
(brilliantly wanted to make a joke about Gavneshu, restrained)

On the elephant dung everywhere and universally mushrooms grow paneolusy. If not the best, then the very closest relatives and neighbors. That view on them from a height of an elephant. For Panaeolus cambodginiensis krupnovat, but it may just be the Cambodians on elephant dung rod such sho your shampinёn.

Besides truck elephants fed by tourists. Bananas and pineapples, which were immediately traded slonovody terrible for money. But it is not impossible to buy, because the feed is like watching an elephant on the fire, the water and the issuance of money. I like assistant slonovoda fruits were given for free, but they still were not enough. Therefore, in the house no fruit crop not to throw, but still on the market specially recruited some some shabby cheap fruit "for elephant." So at seven in the morning, I stomped on the track at the camp in a cloud of fruit flies and all the fruit with a bag of trash.

Elephant, to which I was attached, a completely unpronounceable name Thai name, vaguely similar to the Bedouin word Nueyba. Eighteen young elephant, emotional and cheerful, always smiling. Stunning girl. In general, all the elephants are different and they have different faces and expressions of the faces. One of the few animals who recognize themselves in the mirror. And they have a ritual farewell to their dead bodies, complex and very touching.

Nueyba afar sees me and starts shifting from foot to foot, nodding and flapping ears. Some kapets children's happiness to see how you rejoice elephant.

After all the fruit from the bag loaded into the trunk, go for a swim. To drive away the elephant in the sink, it is necessary to climb. In principle, it is not necessary, but once assembled, which empties drive. Climb up to the elephant there are three ways. The first is the easiest, they are rolled tourists. On an elephant climb a wooden platform with the growth of the elephant. While piled elephant standing at attention nearby. And look at you as a sucker.

The second way - across the board. Elephant falls to the ground, and you're on his leg to climb on his neck, close to the gentle and reliable ears. It is also easy. One-two-three.

But the real slonovody climb on an elephant standing. So the elephant easier. He's just a stepping stone hump trunk, and you climb up through the forehead. The first time it's funny to everyone, including the elephant.

On the neck of an elephant is very convenient. The first time I wore long pants, because I thought the skin of concrete, barbed bristles, parasites and so on. It turned out, no. The skin is very nice and stiff bristles, but elastic and does not pricked. Parasites also somehow not there. But turned out to be brilliant ears.

Ears are hefty, because it's cooler - or an animal of this size in this climate immediately overheat. Between them and the skull is so thin tender skin that keep your feet there is some kinesthetic happiness. On top of the ears - dense thick cartilage, the ideal handrails when suddenly, an earthquake or a gallop there. When the elephant wades through the bushes, the ears are covered with scratches on his legs. And it is also brilliant.

With that his ears - the most gentle. Therefore herders and trainers use them as a fifth point through which to reach the fastest elephant. On Lanta they go with such an unpleasant kind of small hatchets, similar to an ice pick. When the bishop of that is necessary, the ax hangs in his ear, between the cartilage and skull. Just hanging out, doing nothing. But the elephant once it becomes clear that what is asked, will have to perform. I try not to fall into the ethical assessment of this fact. All the folk practices such as the domestication of elephants written not WWFom not PETA and the European Council democracy.

All four elephant knees bent to one side, so run and jump, he can not. But it can move almost silently. They go on the toes and under the heel has a thick pad of elastic cartilage that much to ill Asics. The Kama Sutra turnover me all surprised, "she graceful as a young elephant." No more surprises. Elephant, unlike horses and even camels, does not go, and just floating in the area. Graceful as a young Indian woman.

I used to imagine washing the elephant something Bathing of a Red Horse. This means that water is blue, and her sparkling elephant and an elephant - one who washes, covered in silvery spray. But instead of blue water turned a little green channel width of three elephants, the same Klong Dzhark. Nueyba went into the water and immediately began to write it, and cocoa. Oh, you know, from the heart. It was immediately clear who the coastal Indians learned to go into the ocean in the morning and to celebrate all that is acquired. Then I somehow slightly perehotelos climb in Klong Dzhark and decided to see a Berezhko.

Elephant lay down on its side and let the fountains of the trunk, and slonovod rubs her brush. The objective of this stage is not so much to clean up as otkvasitsya.

Sometimes the stage of soaking in all the channel is passed and immediately go to the very slonomoyku - concrete pad with a hose. And here has let me let me. Because the elephant wash out of the hose and brush - it does not pass, a rush, and do not explain why it is so. Archetypes and symbols, art stamps and children's dreams - all of it.

Nueyba myself rushing, smiling, side inserts, lifts his legs, rubbed to heel. Assists - stretches the trunk, gaining back the water from the hose, pouring himself from the top. Slonovod she says something like, "Here!" - And she lowers her head to be able to crown washed

Half an hour - and clean the elephant ready. Climb up on it back and went home. There - on the dusty but dry. Back - a clean but wet.



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