Sunday, April 14, 2013

Meet the Cast of Learning to Play: Kittibon & Selati, The Elephants


Selati and Kittibon

It's official: Learning to play with a Lion's Testicles has been released and is being devoured by readers around the globe.
With the release of the book it's high time I shared some mug shots of the four-legged characters with you, every now and then I will introduce a new one.
            There is only one character I will not be sharing photos of: the Ranger aka The Drill Sergeant. The reason being is not that he is so gorgeous that you will find yourself inflicted with an incurable case of Khaki fever just by looking at his photo (although some may), nor is it because he has asked me to keep his identity a secret (although I am sure he appreciates it).
The reason is this: the beauty of a book is that it allows our imaginations the freedom to paint the pictures of a scene or character the way our individual minds want to see it. Your vision of a dreamy ranger isn't going to match the one in the book and what a great thing that is because now we have created thousands of dreamy rangers and I don't want to execute any of them by exposing the one in the book. And no, I will not email you a photo; so don't even ask!

Somebody recently, after reading my book, said,
           
"I thought elephants were gentle and humans could approach them?"

Ahem, do not approach a wild animal. Ever. Elephants included. Elephants are territorial, aggressive and highly intelligent mammals and they are terrified of humans - can you blame them? So, would it be a good idea to approach an animal that weighs three tons, can snap a tree with it's trunk and would rather trample you, sit on you or make a lean-on sandwich out of you than cuddle with you? The answer, No!
Elephants that allow people to ride on them are highly trained. Do not ever approach an elephant; it will  attack you out of fear, not aggression - unless her name is Kittibon then it is purely out of aggression. Elephants are beautiful, intelligent, emotional, majestic prehistoric mammals that should be treated with the utmost respect.

Some other interesting elephant facts:
  Top running speed, 25 miles per hour
  Elephants have the best memory of all animals
  Elephants are the largest land mammal in the world
  Elephants move in complete silence because the bottom of their feet are made from a 'spongey' material
  An elephant trunk contains 100,000 muscle units capable of snapping a tree like a toothpick; humans have 639 muscles total
  The trunk has two finger like protrusions at the end of it that are more dexterous than human fingers
  A trunk is used as a snorkel when swimming underwater
  An elephant can carry up to 1000 pounds with his trunk
  Elephants are social and caring creatures that even babysit for one another
  Elephants have no predators except for humans
Elephants are clearly stronger and arguably smarter than poachers. If elephants ever decided to hunt humans, they would win every single time without the use of weapons but elephants are kinder and would rather live in peace, now that's a lesson worth noting! 
Most of us love elephants and what's not to love?

Now without further adieu allow me to introduce to you Kittibon and Selati. You will remember from the book that Kittibon is a Xhosa word that means 'I have seen' and Selati is also a Xhosa word that means 'Sugar', because he is sweet - frankly anything is sweet compared to the grumpy and aggressive KIttibon!

100,000 muscles at work

Ellies love mud

Mud keeps an ellie cool

Finger-like protrusions used for eating and exploring

I think she's giving me the bird!

Poachers kill ellies for their tusks



An ellie's steps are silent



Showing off some tusk

Don't let the puppy dog eyes fool you

An ellie's teeth are flat









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