Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sunny Sight

It is not always easy to find a laugh-out-loud passage but, with the mental image evoked in her book, Exuberance: The Passion For Life, Kay Redfield Jamison made me do it. She quotes 'Katy Payne, the acoustic biologist who was the first to extablish that elephants communicate through infrasound,' (who) 'gives a marvelous account of young elephants taking delight in the chase.'

"Young bulls love to chase things; they relish the exhilarated, chin-up, feet-splayed rush and the sight of other animals in flight, and they magnify the impact of their assaults by chasing in pairs or small gangs. Once I saw a rush of which the object was a buterfly. Eyes wide, a gang of young male elephants collectively weighing some twenty or maybe forty tons thundered to a stop as the small fairy, white and weightless, rose up out of their midst. Then each turned on his heels and fled."

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