By Byron Rogers
An viewers with an Elephant is a compendium of the oddest and such a lot eccentric travels - a shuttle e-book to set along Norman Lewis and Eric Newby for the sheer unpredictability of its encounters and its surreal comedy. yet Bryon Rogers did not enterprise to the ends of the earth to discover singular customized and heroic idiosyncrasy: he had little need to. those are trips to the guts of the unusual and far-off land of england. On his travels he meets the Turkish POW in British palms - an historical tortoise captured at Gallipoli and now resident in nice Yarmouth - and the teenaged elephant who has opened extra fetes and supermarkets than any television famous person. the following, too, are such strange figures because the octogenerian triathlete, the fellow who (before such issues have been banned) held each global consuming list, and the final hangman in his untroubled retirement. no matter if exploring the center of britain within the forgotten county of Northamptonshire or accompanying the final tramp in the course of the wilder...
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Additional info for An Audience with an Elephant. And Other Encounters on the Eccentric Side
The tent is a lean-to, with the flaps down to prevent the draughts to which an elephant is susceptible. Inside this she is chained, mainly on account of her curiosity. Water she associates with a black hosepipe, and with the number of black electric cables lying around the encampment a curious elephant wandering around would be a major hazard. ‘Plus the fact that she’s badly spoiled,’ said Robert Raven. ‘She was very ill once and went to stay with a vet, who let her do anything she wanted on his farm.
Twice a night, for seven minutes at a time, Rani steps from tub to tub, or walks over people. (‘Being the only animal which can’t jump, an elephant has to be sure-footed. ’) She also plays cricket but has refused to play football. ’ Robert Raven stroked one huge wrinkled side. ’ However often you have seen elephants, the bulk close up is bewildering. This, and the fact that the animal is never still, the body swaying from side to side, the whiskery trunk, in perpetual motion conveying food to the strange pink little mouth, prompting unease.
Cottle bought her in 1973, a tiny elephant from north-west India who turned up at Stansted with her mahout. He has good reason to remember it, for when he got there he was informed that VAT, which had been introduced a week earlier, applied to elephants. He lost £250,000 in the next two years because circus audiences appeared to agree with the councils that animals were a persecuted minority. When he went back into animals he had a vicar in to bless them and, to cock a snook at authority, added a turkey.