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The Memory of an Elephant


I'm constantly amazed at what I forget these days and also at what I remember! (It's *not* because I'm now a grandpa, I'm sure!) I sometimes find myself wishing I had the memory that elephants are reputed to have. I received a story this week about an elephant's memory, and I just *loved* it! It might bring a tear to your eye ... it did to mine.

The Memory of an Elephant...

In 1986 Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son, Tapu, were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs, and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant....

divider

Becka, Nora, and I had an uneventful trip back to Greenville yesterday, thankful for the opportunity of being with our loved ones in Detroit, for the improvement in the condition of both Megan and Drew, and for our safe arrival here. The baby has gained an ounce a day in the past 2 days. If he continues to do well, he may get to go home by the end of the week. As Megan read her discharge papers from the hospital, she learned that, although the hospital personnel kept talking about preeclampsia and her preeclamptic symptoms, the diagnosis on her release was HELLP Syndrome. Though the two conditions are similar, there are differences, and what she encountered lines up more with the description of HELLP Syndrome. Hmm.

Earlier today I put a few pictures on the blog for those who might be checking for something new. You can see them in the blog post below this one. Here's another picture that Grandma thought should be shared with the blogosphere also - Drew in his first preemie clothes....

picture of Drew in his first preemie clothes

chickadees again...

Some of you might remember that we had a nest of Carolina chickadees in our bird house last spring. There's another nest of chickadees in there this year. If you'd like to check out last year's adventure, click on "birds" in the Tag Cloud in the right sidebar

quotation...

"God doesn't expect us to be perfect, but He expects us to be making steady progress toward what we ought to be." - Dr. Gary Anderson

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.


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5 Comments on “The Memory of an Elephant”

  1. #1 Jill
    on Mar 20th, 2007 at 12:49 am

    Lucky for me I have an 8 year old son who’s fascinated with giant creatures & myths, so I know this: Mokele Mbembe is the name of the dinosaur they say still roams in Africa!

  2. #2 Angela
    on Mar 20th, 2007 at 8:15 am

    Ack! I can’t believe I fell for that! :-p:

  3. #3 Kris Stephens
    on Mar 20th, 2007 at 10:15 am

    LOL! I love it! The closing line really caps it off well! Thank for posting.

  4. #4 Ann
    on Mar 20th, 2007 at 10:30 am

    I didn’t start laughing until about 30 seconds after reading the elephant story. Yes, I had tears—of laughter!! Every time I think about it I start laughing. What is that all about????

    Congrats on your grandson! It’s the best thing about getting “older!”

    Thanks for the laughter!!

  5. #5 Shannah
    on Mar 20th, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Rob, that is absolutely horrible! And hilarious! : )

    Rob adds:
    Gracias, Shannah! I figured others would enjoy it as much as I did!


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