The second part of our Tour with Tong was a visit to the elephants. As soon as we got there we pulled up to little bamboo huts one of which served as a little home for a baby elephant. We paid our $30 and up sauntered three giant elephants.
By the way, I am not an animal person. In fact, I'm a little afraid of all animals. But here I am with all these little kids around me and I have to pretend that I think this is a totally normal and comfortable thing to do: climb up and sit on a twenty foot tall beast who could kill me. I turned to the Hippie with tears in my eyes and begged him not to make me go and then promptly turned to my boys and forced them crying onto the elephants. It all happened rather quickly and soon all six of us were marching toward the River Kwai on elephants and I was shaking in fear and pretending for my kids that everything was going to be fine. I've never been so scared in my life and not three hours before I'd been bitten by a tiger.
Down the steepest hill we went, crashing into the water, and then guess what the stinking' elephant's favorite thing to do is? Dive of course. And so scuba diving we went as the elephants fully submerged themselves. Surprisingly, once we were in the water we were all a lot less scared. They didn't seem quite so big because so much of their bodies were underwater. They were not aggressive and the guides who rode with us didn't use any kind of force to get them to do activities with us. The people running the place were very affectionate with the animals and the energy I got from everybody involved was that, though certainly these are wild animals made tame, the people loved being with the elephants and treated them like horses or dogs that they loved and enjoyed. I obviously do not know the psychology of elephants but they seemed to be having a lovely time lounging about in the water and spraying us.