FUN STORIES

FUN STORIES

is just a page where I like to write about little things that amuse me, no sales and no preaching involved.

Have you ever read James Herriot, the author of many stories about his early life as a veterinarian in the English countryside? One of his most famous books is called "All Creatures Great and Small" Very worthwhile reading.


Like the story of the little boy who brought him a very sickly parakeet that promptly died.He did not have the heart to tell the kid, so rather he went and bought him a very similar looking younger healthier parakeet and gave it to the kid, making him think that his favorite had been cured.

Or the time there was a Terrier with terrible gas. His owner could no longer stand it and wanted him put to sleep. James felt so bad that he convinced the owner to allow him to adopt the lovable pooch out. After many trials and errors he eventually found an old farmhand who had lost his sense of smell and who gladly adopted the pet, totally oblivious of his "problem" You should read it for yourself.

The Baby Elephant

When I had newly graduated, I worked for the South African state in a very remote area of northern South West Africa, now known as Namibia. Most of the year it was very near desert conditions with very little grazing and very few bushes and very many skinny cattle competing for food. Once a year the rains came in heavy thunderstorms and extreme downpours. Roads would become mud and impassible for regular vehicles. Lucky I had access to a government issued Jeep, rickety and old though it was.

Well within a week or two of the rains, you would think the place had turned into paradise. Tall grass was sprouting up all over and the trees and wildflowers would break out in the most wonderful colorful array of blooms you have ever seen. The air smelled clean and sweat and there would be no trace of the normally stifling dust clouds.

I got a phone call from a local resident, who unfortunately was forced to adopt a few months young baby elephant.She was as strong as an ox and was growing more enormous by the day. Her sad history could only be guessed at. We think her mother got caught in a mud hole that trapped her. We do not know if she died of starvation or if local people killed her for the meat. There was extreme poverty and locals would resort to eating anything including dead dogs on the side of the road. Amazingly they survived because both Anthrax and Rabies was endemic in the area.

The baby survived and was taken up by this man who faithfully hand fed her with his homemade formula through these huge 20 gallon jugs, converted to nursing bottles. She was quite sweet and used to being around people, but she had an abscess on her back. When I tried to examine it and touch it, she reverted to her wild self and trumpeted and reared and was quite willing to stomp anybody in the forehead. Clearly she was in a lot of pain. We had to be smarter than her. After she calmed down I was able to walk to her side, avoiding her back, and used my best Judo moves to grab her legs and tip her on her side. Being so big, it was difficult for her to stand up as long as her owner held onto her head.

Elephants luckily have extremely big veins popping out from the skin on their big ears. I was able to inject some horse tranquilizer in the vein to subdue her and had just enough time to clean and debride the wound and give her a long acting antibiotic injection. She soon stumbled up with a disgusted look at me and stomped off. I felt good about relieving her discomfort and improving her life.

I never saw or heard from them again, but I tell myself she likely grew up to be a good looking mother cow herself. Elephants have a reputation for remembering their handlers forever, but African elephants do not have a good history in captivity, so I assume she became wild again in her teens. Good luck to her. Africa already offers too many challenges, no need for pain too.


Young Elephant Young Hippo

Kruger National Park is one of the most famous game parks in the world. It has thousands of miles of roads and many rest-camps or villages where you are allowed to spend the night.

Olifants rest-camp in the north, is located at the top of a cliff that oversees the Olifants river. It has spectacular views in many directions for many miles. If you do not wish to spend the day in a car looking for game, you can just bring your binoculars and make yourself comfortable at one of the lookout points. We always make reservations at the privatwe lodge that has a huge private balcony where you can sit, enjoy your beer or coffee and braai (barbecue) and watch the world unfold, several hundred feet below. The campsite is fenced and guarded and it protects you from predators, so it is safe to sit outside. However they have not yet figured out a way to keep the monkeys and baboons out. So you should never leave your belongings untended for too long, or your front door unlocked. You might be liable to find a monkey in the bathroom staring at himself in the mirror when you go to the bathroom.

When I was 10 years old we went there and there was a pride of lions on the other side of the river that kept our attention for hours with their antics. Especially the babies playing with each other and rolling down sandbanks. We prefer to go in their spring because you see more babies of all kinds.

From the balcony you can see several water pools with crocodiles and hippos in them. Most of the day they just sleep, so it becomes boring to watch. At night the hippos get out of the water and go grazing and if you have strong binoculars you can watch them for a few hours until it becomes too dark. On that particular morning a young hippo was still grazing in the vicinity. She was maybe one or two years old, not a newborn, but you could clearly tell by her clumsy actions and uncertainty that she was not very world wise.

She must have sensed something we could not see, because she slowly made her way to one of the pools of water right under our lodge balcony and hid by submerging herself, only to come up very subtly for a breath of air very infrequently and very inconspicuously.

Soon we realized that a younger elephant was making his way towards us from the other bank of the river. He too was clumsy and young and just like most teenagers had decided to wander off from the family to explore. It is so awesome to watch their majestic stride as they wander through bushes stopping to pluck a few leaves here and there. Inevitably unbeknownst to him, he was on a direct path to our hippo pool. She was totally invisible because of the murky water.

He came closer and closer, all the while looking up for food on the upper branches of trees and not paying any attention to where his feet were. They were just both so slow and dignified that I thought if miss hippo kept still enough, he might quietly walk right by her. But NO!

As he was wading through the pool, oblivious of what was beneath, he picked up his front leg and stepped directly onto miss hippo. Suddenly there was a huge commotion. The elephant trumpeted at the top of his lungs and I did not even know hippos could make noise, but miss hippo gave a bloodcurling scream. There was water and foam and mud flying everywhere. It startled everybody in the camp and people came running to the lookout points to see what it was about.

Within seconds both of them got out of the pool and ran in opposite directions to be reunited with the safety of the rest of their families. If you think that if confronted by elephants or hippos in nature, you could outrun them - think again. They must have built up speed in excess of 25 miles per hour. Teenagers, there might be a lesson here, maybe avoid danger rather than go looking for it.

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Did you know that we organize safari and tourist trips to South Africa twice a year? If you want to know more about it contact us by e mail at sacvet@hotmail.com with the subject line SAFARI TRIPS

Anecdotes

A Few Strategies If You’re Riding a Dead Horse

As the saying goes, when you’re riding a dead horse,you best bet is to get off. However, some organizations try other strategies with dead horses,

including these:

• Buying a stronger whip.

• Changing riders.

• Saying things like, “This is the way we always have ridden this horse.”

• Appointing a committee to study the horse.

• Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.

Flag Day

An American tourist in the Netherlands was chatting with a friend and asked about the meaning of the red,white, and blue stripes in the Dutch flag.

“Our flag symbolizes our taxes,” the friend joked.“We get red when we talk about them, white when we get our tax bill, and blue after we pay them.”

“That’s the same with us,” the American said. “Only we see stars, too.”

Not Stupid

A boy named Johnny hung out at the local grocery store. The manager noticed that the other boys who hung out in front of the store always teased him,

calling him stupid and playing tricks on him.One of their tricks was to offer Johnny his choice between a shiny nickel and a dusty old dime. Johnny

always took the nickel be

cause it was bigger and shinier. One day the store manager took Johnny off to one side. “Look, son, those boys are making fun of you. They think you don’t know the dime is worth more than the nickel. Don’t you know that?”

“Yeah,” Johnny said, “but if I took the dime, they’d quit doing it!”




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