This past week has brought a lot of amusement to the carers as Moses starts to explore his “family” and seems to be relating what he finds to himself. It started off with him spending a long time in the middle of the night exploring my face with his trunk and then exploring his own face. He felt all over my face and then all over his, felt my eyes then felt his, tried to put his trunk in my mouth and then in his, pulled and felt my ears and then his and then he got to my nose……. He then spent ages feeling all over his forehead for his nose, went back to pulling my nose and back to his forehead. You could almost imagine him wondering why I had one of those funny things and he didn’t – he seems to relate my arm and hand to his trunk as I use it to demonstrate splashing in water, playing in the dust, picking things up etc. His fascination with noses has continued all week with him feeling Louises nose, the cats nose, the dogs nose etc.
He and I spend the nights in the dining room – initially it was me on a mattress and Moses on a grass bed nearby but he soon decided that he would far rather sleep on a mattress thank you and made himself quite comfortable on the mattress gently pushing me onto the grass – we have compromised by putting 2 matresses together on the floor of the dining room and sharing them! He does however insist on having sheets on the mattress and if the sheets have not been put on he just wont go to bed...
He is also becoming a lot more sensitive and responsive to emotions and I have to be careful of controlling any feelings of frustration or tension when I am with him as this does result in him becoming more restless and confrontational. Conversely he responds to any feelings of affection with calmness and a rubbing of his trunk all over me and rubbing his tongue on my hands and to sadness with wrapping his trunk around me and gently swaying. It really does bring home how very emotional these animals are and how the person looking after them does have to genuinely care for them and not just go through the motions of providing food and a presence.
I was given a “serious lecture” yesterday evening as I was helping Louise set up for the David Kelly exhibition and so arrived home just after dark to be met by a very cross little elephant who lay next to me rumbling and grunting for nearly an hour with his trunk wrapped tightly round my arm as if he was telling me exactly how irresponsible I was to leave him with Matimat when according to his routine it was my turn to be on duty. He did get over his grump though, fell asleep and by the 8 o’clock feed everything was back to normal.
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