Dear Dr. Doolittle Here’s a forthcoming colm from ‘ol hoss. Read and comment, please:
Sometimes I start out writing a b**g and forget what it was supposed to be about. You’ve never done that. Me, I start out writing about winter squash and first thing you know I’m fishing in Mud Puppy Lake.
Here’s a persample: I found this youtube thing the other day and captured it for my b**g. Put it where you see it now — and promptly forgot what it was all about. It could have been about finding long-necky dinosaurs in Montana, but I’m pretty sure it’s not. It, more likely, was about dung beetles in Tumbuktu, but I’m not sure. And then suddenly it dawns upon me! It is about The Finger. And not just any Finger, but The Deadly Fickle Finger of Fate! Let’s look in and see. Maybe it’s not so bad…….
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In 1887, Mikele Mebembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University in Illinois. 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 Mikele approached it very carefully.
He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant’s foot. There, he found a large piece of wood embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mikele worked the wood out with his 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. Mikele stood frozen, thinking of nothing other than being trampled.
Eventually, the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away. Mikele never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.
Twenty years later, Mikele was walking through the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago with his teenage son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mikele and his son were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mikele, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several timnes, then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.
Remembering the encounter in 1987, Mikele couldn’t help wondering if this was the same elephant. Mikele 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 his trunk around one of Mikele’s legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.
Probably wasn’t the same elephant.
I like your column- so publish. At which point I will comment that we no longer keep elephants at said zoo because they belong in the wild where they are free to kneecap tourists. I am curious about the fickle finger of fate- perhaps I will go do a YouTube search. Snuggle the dog and the woman. V
Hi, Sweet Gene,
Vicki – we were hoping to hear from you. My early report to a friend here is below, written before hospice arrived. They are truly a gift, and he is in good hands. Morphine and Lorazepam – called comfort drugs – have given him the best day he’s had in weeks, thanks to Hospice. Wonder why the pulmonologist who sent him for 2 days in the hospital didn’t think of it. The new chair allows a reclining position and easy in and out – fabulous. More later. Time to feed the man.
Happy Thanksgiving to you both. Sylvia
The beach was gorgeous all Saturday. Back, and Gene hospitalized Mon-Wed, but failed to improve breathing and he continues to decline rapidly. Hospice arrives today and the wheels of assisted suicide are in motion, both at his request.
Dear Sylvia (and Gene)
A number of weeks later…