Last night I was treated to the sweetness of Bo, a memory forever embedded in my mind and my heart.
Feeding the elephants in the dark of night is always a surreal experience for me. I cherish the time. The elephants are in an ultra-relaxed mode and the landscape looks altered. My senses are heightened because my vision is reduced resulting in plants and tall grasses creating images not seen during the day.
At night feed I tend to take the same trail in search of Tarra and Bo. Yes, they are smart and know what path I will take and at what approximate time I will be driving by. Headlamps and flashlights are of minimal assistance in such a vast habitat, so I have to remain patient and alert.
Driving the ATV at elephant walking speed of 1.5 miles per hour, I scan as best I can. Even with the illumination of three different light sources, elephants can blend into the surrounding landscape well. At times they can be hard to find, especially if they are standing perfectly still and silence.
When it comes to the thrice a day supplemental feeds, both Bo and Tarra want to be found. Most times Bo stands in the middle of the path, while Tarra stands to the side, like a hitch hiker waiting for a ride. When I see them I feel a deep joy and appreciation for my life. I am thankful for my good fortune to be living with elephants.
Last night was a little different. Late in the day Bo had wandered from the 100 acre habitat, through the new habitat access alley into the 750, visiting areas he hadn’t for several days. Tarra remained in the 100, grazing away with her flock of loyal feathered followers.
Tarra was an easy find, standing just off the path, broadside so she wouldn’t be missed, mouth gapping open in her “if I don’t eat now, I certainly will starve to death” pose. She cracks me up! I put out her produce, grain and a bit of hay and was having a conversation with her when I heard the unmistakable bellow from Bo. This is the first time he and Tarra have been in different areas, and I believe he wanted me to know where he was.
As soon as he bellowed, I responded with, “OK, I hear you, be right there.” And that was it, he had sent me a message telling me exactly where he was. My heart was exploding, my joy indescribable, my appreciation for he and Tarra deep and immeasurable.
Our lives together are full of understanding, acceptance, and love. This is heaven!