In light of my blog post some time ago with the Christian the lion video, our friend Diane Meyer sent us the following. It’s a somewhat similar story. But please, if you haven’t watched the lion video, do that first. Without it, you will not appreciate why Diane sent this one:
In 1986, Mikele Mebembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. 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 and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mikele worked the wood out with his hunting 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 else but 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 Chicago Zoo 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 Tapu 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 times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.
Remembering the encounter in 1986, 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 its trunk around one of Mikele's legs and slammed him against the railing, breaking his ribs and sending him to the hospital.
Probably wasn't the same elephant.
If you don’t appreciate this story (which I edited slightly to offend fewer people), please blame Diane Meyer. Feel free to file your complaint at Diane's blog.