Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Some Elephants Don't Like Being Teased

"Chiwit [a Thai elephant] can make his meaning very clear, very quickly. A year or so back, he was teased by two boys when his mahout was out gathering fodder; he disliked it very much. He took the boys in his trunk, one by one, and dropped them down an empty well. It was not very deep, but they could not get out. They remained there, crying, until they were released. Meantime, Chiwit had relieved himself over the well. The boys never teased Chiwit again."

Reference: Gerald Sparrow, Opium Venture, quoted in The Wide World, Jan. 1958 (Dec. 1957 in the UK), page 128

Friday, 14 February 2014

A Penny to See a Corpse

     You will note my profile describes me as an "amateur polymath". I thought that would be the simplest and shortest alternative to "widely read collector of useless information". (Some people, knowing my reputation, have sought my assistance in obtaining useful information. It doesn't usually take them long to be disabused.) However, as an amateur polymath, I feel I must bow to the Rev. Lionel Fanthorpe, author, radio personality, member of Mensa, and leading light in several Fortean organisations. And it was thus that I found the following story - totally irrelevant to the essay in which it was included, I might add. And since the good Rev. Fanthorpe is a much better wordsmith than me (he once wrote 180+ books in a period of nine years), and since he is unlikely to sue me for plagiarism, or even read this site, I shall quote it in his own words.