Posts Tagged Elephant

You Will Obey

My daughter’s horse sailed gracefully over the jump, and then made a sharp left turn. Unfortunately my daughter continued going straight ahead, making a less than graceful face plant into the dirt. She dusted herself off, spat the sand out of her mouth, wiped the blood from her lip, climbed back on and completed the course.

When I commented to my daughter that she was certainly not lacking in courage, she just shrugged her shoulders and said that she had to finish the course. Otherwise her horse would learn that if he bucked her off the workout would be over, and he could go back to his paddock to eat grass and ready himself to panic next time a paper bag appeared in a tree.

I asked if that meant he did not enjoy being ridden. She just gave me one of those looks and walked off, confirming what I had long suspected. Horses do not particularly enjoy being saddled, ridden, coerced over jumps and made to ride in weird configurations around a show ring (this is called dressage). So why do they allow it? Why does a 500 kg horse allow itself to be dictated to by a girl barely a tenth of its weight? Surely a horse must have more grey cells than a cow, who wouldn’t dream of allowing someone on its back? And what about elephants? While they do trample the odd mahout, by and large they let themselves be pushed around by tiny men with pointed sticks and do nothing about it. Imagine trying that with a rhino or a hippo.

It does baffle me how often this occurs, a smaller, physically weaker creature dominating a much more powerful one. And now, if you’ll excuse me, the cats want feeding and then I have to provide a lap for their mid-afternoon snooze.

Dr. F. Bunny

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Kicking The Bucket

Michael Leunig, one of Australia’s best known cartoonists, has an interesting take on the whole bucket list concept.

Top of my Leunig bucket list would probably be fighting a bushfire, but here is a list of items also worthy of honourable mention:

• Necropsy an elephant that had been dead for two days in 33oC heat, while surrounded by a million flies.

• Perform a foetotomy in similar environmental conditions. A foetotomy involves cutting up a dead, usually decomposed, calf while it is still inside the mother. Very tricky and the stink doesn’t leave you for days and days and days. Not so good if you have a dinner party invitation.

• Euthanase anybody’s much loved pet.

• Go back to primary school and experience all the bullying from kids and beatings from teachers that involved.

• Fly. This one is particularly difficult considering many of the things I love to do involve overseas travel.

• Go to a funeral, particularly my own.

• Be a teenager again.

• Eat asparagus and Vegemite.

• Visit Spain.

• Worry about tipping: how much, should I, shouldn’t I?

• Watch a reality TV show.

• Go to the opera.

• Be asked what I am thinking (because it is too embarrassing to admit that I am not really thinking anything at all).

Dr. F. Bunny



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