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Thursday, 10 November 2011


On the news today  was a report about the arrest of two circus owners charged with mistreating an elephant. They are accused of tethering the 54 year old Olifant to a stake for 24 hours a day and beating it.

On this week's  Frozen Planet (about which I have already enthused), there was a piece on an encounter with the film crew and a pod of killer whales. The interaction between these creatures and the crew clearly showed a deep intelligence behind the bright eyes of the orcas. Bobbing up just in front of the camera men, rocking to and fro the dingy the crew were in, their actions spoke of brains behind all that brawn and blubber.

Watching them hunt a whale or roll a seal off an ice floe was rather disconcerting, if fascinating.  A bunch of real smart cookies, if ever I saw one.

I haven't signed up to "All creatures great and small, the Lord God made them all", but I know that a world full of creatures of all sizes is one of life's glories.

I wouldn't want to count my daily encounters with GinjatheNinja as similar to that of a meeting with a killer whale in Antarctica, but there are similarities. It is in his eyes that I see my cat's moods; certainly his body reinforces the eyes' signals: the bushy tail, languorous movement, purring or a swipe with claws extended.  In his eyes I see affection, pain, confusion and anger - often in quick succession. In his eyes there is a softness and a beauty which makes me catch my breath.

I don't envy Ginja his beauty, his sleekness, his perfect union of form and motion. I just stare, and think how wonderful he is.

I don't know if he registers my admiration or love for him: it doesn't matter. I'm grateful that he will rub the side of his mouth against my hand, will extend his paw to tap me and sit eyeball to eyeball on my chest as I try to read.

What I do know is that my life is wonderfully enriched sharing it with this magnificent animal. I know how lucky we are that he should share his life with us.

How can anyone mistreat a elephant? What sickness inhabits them?


Steve said...

man's greatest crime is his arrogant assumption that only he has a soul, intelligence and an emotional life.

Jenny Woolf said...

I sometimes think how different life must have been when everything was horse drawn, a constant contact with animals. I wonder what effect it had.

Marginalia said...

Dear Steve, couldn't agree more.

Dear Jenny, I'd have a real problem parking my Landau and the two accompanying horses outside our house. Also, we might find ourselves shovelling horse dung to get out the house. Mind you the allotment would be super!

Anonymous said...

The silence from Marginalia towers is deafening!

Have you been giving evidence to the Levenson inquiry?!

Marginalia said...

Dear Anon, Sorry that service has been interrupted. Advising CAB and anyone else who would listen on how to run their business.

Anonymous said...

Anon:I wish to complain about this blog what I viewed not half a week ago.

Marginalia: Oh yes, the, uh, As I was saying.....What's wrong with it?

Anon: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'It's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

Marginalia: No, no, 'uh,...its resting.

Anon: Look, matey, I know a dead blog when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

Marginalia said...

That's the trouble with blogs: spam, spam, spam.

Anonymous said...

You are not the Messiah. You are a very naughty boy!

Anonymous said...

This blog is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late blog. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. THIS IS AN EX-BLOG