I held my breath… I have also learned that when elephants are getting ready to fight, and therefore charge each other, they step back first, then go full speed ahead… my rolling back was sure to be mistaken. ..and I was on a bend in the road… rolling backward and downhill … I quickly stepped on the footbrake while pulling up the handbrake one notch higher. The car stopped, but I was too late. The bigger of the 2 elephants in the middle of the road had started running down the hill, ears flapping wildly and then holding them straight out… a sign of aggression.
Then I got a bright idea. He did not seem to be moving all that fast… If I managed to take a photo, then at least even if they made me flat as a pancake there just might be some evidence of who did it…. I groped around for my phone, keeping one eye on the running elephant, who was now joined by 2 then 3 others, all flapping their ears wildly and seeming to look straight at me, and definitely running straight towards me.
I got it out, just as the biggest one got to about 3 m from the hood of my vehicle, pointed and clicked…
It was getting dark, so the flash lit up the dusk… oh no… I thought.. this was going to make them even more angry. I quickly put the phone away, since they were now right at the vehicle and going round to my side window.. still aggressively spreading their ears out wide and huffing loudly. Others had joined them. They were running down the hill… even the little kids were charging me! Or were they playing with me?
Anyway, the idea of a photo was now gone from my mind, and my prayers were now being said at a 100 words a minute. An elephant among those still coming down trumpeted and I wondered if this meant they were now going to get serious. The ones that had got to the vehicle were just watching me, and then started going to the left of the vehicle. One young lady just stayed in front of my vehicle, first looking at me with 1 eye, then turning around and looking at me with the left.
I started relaxing. I had stood my ground and they must have been playing with me… Is this what they call a mock charge? I continued to watch them as another colleague’s vehicle came up behind me and having missed all the drama, came right up close to 2m behind me… engine running. The elephants could not be bothered about him at all, and had even started chewing on a bush right next to my vehicle.
The other colleague who had stopped some 50-70m away started driving down the hill. The elephants were still right next to me, and I was not sure that he was being smart at all. But when he passed and the elephants did nothing, I got courage and also started up my engine.
My colleague and I drove up the road calmly even while another youngster started mock running towards our vehicles. I got home excited… what an evening! I wanted to see the photo I took, but oh! It was just a blur! I surely must have been afraid.
I got to sleep that night in the safety of my house and said: “Thank you God for keeping me safe.”
The following day was Sunday morning. I was driving down the hill to get to church. Some golden oldie was playing on the radio about leaving a little girl in Kingstone Town, and some baboons were running along the vehicle about 15m away.
I shortly passed them knowing that with them I was safe. I was at peace, knowing that God is always with me, and I thanked Him for his mercy. The day before I had been reminded once again…
It is God that keeps us safe, and we better be clear about that.
I was also reminded that the Garden is only as safe as we make it… by the actions we undertake, the decisions we make, the way we relate to one another and the way we react to one another’s mistakes.
Have you been taking the right actions lately? Or making the right decisions? Or relating positively with those around you.. no matter what mistakes they make? No matter who they are or who you perceive them to be?
Come… Walk with me in the Garden
Copyright (c) 2010. Ophelia Swai. All Rights Reserved