Potato loving Elephants

As usual the truck driver was going at full speed to his destination. He knew, the more trips he made in his ramshackle truck, the more he will he earn.

And this time he was carrying a harmless load, a truck full of potatoes, and he was sure that he will complete the journey uneventfully. How was he to know what awaited him while passing through the Garhbeta forests!

He was cruising along the small but tidy road, trying not to doze off when, suddenly a dark, grey shadow emerged from the surrounding jungle, and positioned itself, bang in the middle of the road.

The driver withdrew his right heel from the accelerator and pressed the brakes hurriedly, as the truck came to a halt screechingly. It was a fully grown elephant which had crossed his path.

But the driver was used to the elephant crossing in this area, and decided to patiently wait for the elephant to cross the road, to the jungle on the other side. But the elephant had other ideas today.

It circled the truck first. Now, you will think that the truck can easily scoot away when the elephant is at the back of the truck. But you don’t know the speeds an angry elephant can achieve. The truck driver knew, hence he stayed put.

By this time, quite a crowd had gathered on the road to see the elephant and its antics. The traffic had already come to a standstill.

Like a tiger which stalks its prey, the elephant was contemplating its strategy and trying to figure out the contents of the truck. It smelled with its long trunk, its mouth watering in delight but first it had to deal with the pesky humans.

The few humans surrounding it were puny in front of it, but could make life hell for the tusker. And so they tried, by making videos and taking photos with their irritating smartphones while some of them tried to scare away the majestic animal by bursting crackers near the elephant.

But today, it was very determined to have its favourite snack and indulge its taste buds. So it went about its business in a very professional manner, not caring about the few noisy crackers thrown towards it.

With a elegant flourish of its long trunk, it unpeeled the tarpaulin covering the prized dessert, and with a quick flick of its trunk, caused the potatoes to fall off and into its easy reach. Doing this a few times, it had its fill of the juicy potatoes, and only after its full satisfaction, it went on its way into the surrounding jungle.

While going, it snaked its trunk through the driver side window, and near the driver’s ear, as if to whisper its thanks to him.

Learning – elephants like raw potatoes more than French fries.

Yatindra Tawde

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