Limba also decides on the terms of a friendship: whether she likes You, rather than You liking her. That decision could take months to make.
In the meantime, though, Limba is quite willing to ‘scope’ me out, using her dexterous, snorkel-like trunk to ‘elephant scan’ my body, from just below my waist to the top of my crown. Up and down she moves her wispy-whisker-sensory trunk, her nostrils weaving around my face as I stare motionless into them. Not completely certainly how this 7,800 lb mammal is going to proceed, I hold fast to my camera, rooted to the spot. Once more around my body and then I get it full force, a whopping hot stream of poignant elephant breath. Kind of like a morning after expulsion.
Time to have a bath! Limba loves to be scrubbed, “as hard as you can,” Robert, the elephant trainer instructs. It was utterly amazing to watch the grace of Limba as she ‘stretched’ and kneeled down to the floor and onto her back. Karen Kain would have been proud of Limba’s grand-Plié.
After an initial hose down, Robert squirts some liquid soap on Limba and I scrub her back. And scrub, and scrub, and scrub. Limba is serene, her front legs tucked one behind the other.
Estheticians at St. Anne’s Spa, sit up and take heed!
Once ‘our’ bath is finished, Limba larks about in a hose down, mouth wide open as she curls her multi-muscled trunk to her nose in delight.
Water for Elephants: say isn’t there a movie about that?