Two years that flew by @ our farm – Part 2
In the last two years, the most interesting and adventurous experiences definitely include Our elephant encounters. We have seen the tusker in action nearly 7 times up close.
The first time it was a night in the summer of 2015. My hubby and I stood watching through our bathroom window, a huge tusker shaking our jack fruit tree violently and eating 8-9 big jack fruits in a matter of minutes. We were totally awed by his size and strength.
We knew his path through our farm, so planned our raised beds in a way to leave his path untouched. There have been several such jack fruit, mango and banana eating episodes. He will break the fence, walk through, tear open the banana tree to eat its stem to quench his thirst, eat his favorite fruits, but be careful not to step on our raised beds. Then royally walk off breaking the other side of the fence. He has feasted on Anita Satish’s banana trees and pumpkins too.
Once he took the huge metal gate off the hinges, threw it away to trip the electric fence and marched off. He knows how to pick the plastic handle of electric fences to open them. One of elephants in agali, seems to carry with him a huge log to trip electric fences.
In general we don’t keep ripe jack fruits in the house or even their remains in compost pit, for the smell attracts elephants. We usually give the remains to our neighbour’s cow.
I still remember cleaning the jack fruits, eating, distributing to as many people as we can and then making chakka varatti (jam) in a hurry at the night to finish off the jack fruits without attracting the elephants home.
Last week, my neighbor tied up the jackfruit remains in a plastic bag and left it hanging on his guava tree to feed it to the cows next day. Mr.Jumbo did visit him that night. People made noises, burst crackers but nothing scared him, he went round and round the guava tree a few times. Then he did solve the puzzle, he pulled out the bag, tore it open, ate the jackfruit remains and walked off. I was so relieved that he did not eat the plastic bag.
I have heard of them breaking water pipes and tanks to drink water. They have learnt their shares of tricks to survive in this world filled with greedy humans.
My love for these most beautiful, thoughtful intelligent animals has grown many folds and my heart cries looking at the pain they under go due to human greed, which has snatched their homes from them.There are times when people stole our water hoses, tree saplings and more from the farm at night. I felt very angry but when these elephants come and take what they want, I always feel happy that we could feed them and feel sorry that they have do this, but never angry.
This village was once an agricultural village, where people grew everything in their own backyards. Today there is not much agriculture done, for the elephants can destroy the crops in a single night.
This picture with my foot and the elephant foot print in the farm.
Live and let live – Learning to farm with the wild boars, rodents, birds and other creatures around, is not so easy. Trying to find win-win solutions have been interesting and challenging too. DH loves sweet potatoes and he has tried his best to protect his sweet potatoes from the bandicoots, till date they have won, he has lost almost 15-20 kgs or more to the bandicoots… he is now experimenting a totally new way of growing them 😀 Will have to wait and watch if he wins this time:)
Peahens, pigeons, parrots, orioles, sunbirds, paradise fly catcher, robins, bulbuls, crows, drongos,herons, sparrows and so many more add color and music to the farm. We dream of the days when our trees will grow and give more such birds,their home too.
One of our friends here, got us two puppies on March 2015 – the boys named them Rusty and Brownie. I cried that night, thinking of the pain and separation anxiety the puppies and their mom would go through. Anyway they were not going to be taken back, so I got used to having them around. They brought in so much unconditional love into our lives. They were two different personalities Ms. B was a social butterfly while Mr.R totally loved lazing around and lying under the sun happily dreaming – it was fun watching them snuggle, fight like dogs do naturally, negotiate, take turns. I worked on my fear of dogs, I can now stand near them, but still cant touch them or let them touch me.
On Sep 19 2015, we lost Brownie to a bus accident, it was a night filled with tears and cries of broken hearts in our family and Anita Satish’s family.I still remember how little S and little N cried hard but also how quick they got back to normalcy too. Little S told me ” Amma you know what Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, no soul dies, so our brownie will be born somewhere again amma. Don’t cry“. Though he convinced me, I know he still carries the pain of her death in his heart, I have seen it reflect in other ways.
Anyway I hope Brownie is fine wherever she is. I am glad she lived a happy celebrated life showered with love from all of us especially the kids. I just wished she did not have to have such a painful death.
Life with its ups and downs…
(Part 3 to be continued…)