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On my way home. 

As I was making my way back from the Airfield a few months ago now around the end of May 2004 I noticed a very strange phenomenon. A tree or large bush waving violently in the wind or so it appeared at first glance. Being a pilot or a student pilot anyway one always keeps an eye out for what the wind is up to. It was strange because it appeared to be the only one. Now the wind canít move just one bush amongst many around like that. Can it I asked myself? Being nosey and as I was in no hurry just making my way home after the sun had gone down a half hours or so since after flying that evening I decided to investigate. I had stopped my old pick up truck a few yards past the spot and walked back on the dark lane just beside my home housing estate. To where I had made the observation, this being the field where the local shops if you can call them that sit opposite to the small field that has the childrenís again for the want of a better word swing park, I say this because neither are up to much. This is the field that has the housing estate swimming pool a few yards further up past the end of the shops. Well I know the Elephant village is a cross the field on the other side of the road but even so it was a big surprise when I found a ten foot elephant searing out at me from the very much darkened field.  

Naturally I said hello at first in English and then in Thai getting little to no reaction in either. After all she was enjoying eating the bush and disturbing anything Thai while eating you get about the same reaction. So what to do now? I asked myself I have done lots of things but elephant driving is not one of them, could I just grab her ear or something and expect her to follow me home, perhaps not. I was concerned that an elephant should be out on her own after dark as they have no side lights and are the same colour as the road. There have been many times that I have come across them on the road after dark and you really donít see them at all until you are right on top of them and thatís when they are being controlled by a mahout sitting on there shoulders. Itís my opinion that they should have a bicycle lamp fitted to there tail while on the road after dark and believe it or not some do in town anyway. However trying to get the motorbikes to have a tail light is enough of a problem let alone an elephant, one of my friends Jim say he will write a book one day entitled Tail Light Optional, but I think the title of mine, Only the Names Have Been Change to Protect the Guilty, is a better one. So hopefully you take my point. However perhaps thatís a bit long to be a good title, do let me know what you think. So back to what to do with her, I was on my own and I certainly couldnít load her into the back of the truck it would have been on itís knees as she must have weighed a few ton or so. Even if she would have been daft enough to get in there. Now if I had had a bunch of bananas or if had have been a human Thai female I would have had little to no problem, in the case of the latter the waving of a thousand baht note would have done the trick with ease. So not being the latter and not anyway wishing to see my poor old truck on itís knees I decided the only thing I could do was to go as quickly as possible with out trying to break my neck so to speak around the road to the elephant village and see if anybody there was interested in coming back with me to get there missing village member. 

So this I did, when I got to the main gate about one hundred and fifty yards as the crow flies and about one and a half kilometres by road. No one seamed to be interested in answering this crazy foreigner (flang) the Thaiís call us, at the gate. I know they donít like trying to converse with flangís when they have to, similar to a long time a go now back in my office in Liverpool England after I that bought out an export company that dealt manly with manly the west Indies, if a foreigner was on the phone the cry would go out from the young girl answering the phone itís a foreigner itís a foreigner some any one take him off me, so itís only the same reversed. This was the case there and the West Indians spoke English. Eventually after about tem minuets one of the young men decided he had better come and see what I was yelling about. I explained that I had an elephant of thereís in my front garden well ok a slight exaggeration but not so fare from the truth. The young man having finally understood what on earth I was prattling on about decided he had better grab one his mates and do something about it sharppish. They both jumped in the back of my truck quickly and went with me to the site where I had left my friend the elephant. Naturally as a little time had passed while I was trying to make myself understood and the young men having to find a few flashlights, I was concerned that the animal may have wondered off again leaving her still in danger and me looking very stupid or worse looking like I was playing some big joke on them. Thank Buddha or some one anyway she was only a few yards from where I had left her 30 to 45 minuets earlier. So I saved my face in perhaps more ways than one the she was safe.

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