The Elephant’s Child

” But there was one Elephant–a new Elephant–an Elephant’s Child–who was full of ‘satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions. …One fine morning .. this ‘satiable Elephant’s Child asked a new fine question that he had never asked before. He asked, ‘What does the Crocodile have for dinner?’ Then everybody said, ‘Hush!’ in a loud and dretful tone, and they spanked him immediately and directly, without stopping, for a long time.”

Rudyard Kipling, The Elephant’s Child, The Just So Stories. . 

Elephants often cross  ‘the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River‘ to reach lush islands, like this one:


They slide down steep banks to reach the water, leaving enormous ski tracks like these, whose scale is demonstrated by Bertram, my wonderful Robin Pope Safaris guide.:


But, O Best Beloved,  at the bottom lurks danger for a baby elephant:


And one day we found grisly evidence (avert your eyes, O Best Beloved,  if you are of a sensitive disposition):




The adult elephants try to protect the young by keeping them in the middle, making it hard for the crocodiles to reach them, but it doesn’t always work. ..


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