I cannot stand small talk, because I feel like there’s an elephant standing in the room shitting all over everything and nobody is saying anything. I’m just dying to say, ‘Hey, do you ever feel like jumping off a bridge?’ or 'Do you feel an emptiness inside your chest at night that is going to swallow you?’ But you can’t say that at a…party.
Because not every turtle wants to cosplay as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Some of them would much rather be Great A’Tuin, created by Terry Pratchett. Great A’Tuin is the gigantic turtle (Chelys galactica) flying through space, on whom the four World Elephants stand, supporting the Discworld, where all of Pratchett’s stories take place.
I cannot stand small talk, because I feel like there’s an elephant standing in the room shitting all over everything and nobody is saying anything. I’m just dying to say, “Hey, do you ever feel like jumping off a bridge?” or “Do you feel an emptiness inside your chest at night that is going to swallow you?” But you can’t say that at a cocktail party.
Elephants in the wild have midwives who surround them in a circle during their labor, protecting the pregnant mother and swaying along with the laboring elephant. The elephant midwives may care for the pregnant elephants throughout their long gestation of 21-22 months, in labor, and through infancy.
In labor, the elephant midwives may stroke the mother and make sounds along with the laboring elephant. Within the circle of birth, the midwives protect the laboring elephant and assist the newborn to be released from the amniotic sac, stand up, and take its first steps. The baby elephant can stand on its own within fifteen minutes of birth.
John Robbins tells the story of a mother elephant in labor at a zoo in his book “Reclaiming Our Health”. The pregnant and laboring elephant was isolated in her own cage, and was becoming increasingly distressed and aggravated. The zoo keepers called a European zoo that had experience with elephant births. When they relayed the bizarre and dangerous behavior of the isolated laboring elephant thrashing about the Europeans were appalled. They demanded to know where the other female elephants were to help with the mother elephants delivery. Elephants need female elephant midwives to give birth calmly and safely.
The Americans immediately complied with the Europeans’ instructions. As soon as they were allowed into the area with the birthing mother, the other female elephants rushed to her and began to assist her, stroking her with their trunks, calming her with their presence, and helping her to complete her labor. After the newborn elephant emerged, the midwives cleaned the baby and took care of her while the mother rested.
The wisdom of the elephant midwives, demonstrates the power of the midwives supporting women in childbirth, to protect the birthing mother from unnecessary disturbances, isolation, and fear. No wonder so many women are fearful and distressed birthing in hospitals today when alone and labor is interrupted with numerous nurses, technicians, and doctors. The loving care of one’s personal and trusted circle of birth is the most powerful support in instinctive birth for all mammals.
Africa’s elephants have just gotten a powerful new supporter –music
legend, Billy Joel. Joel’s voice is heard in a series of new ads
supporting the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) 96 Elephants
campaign – so named for the number of elephants slaughtered each day by
With the backdrop of computer-animated elephants
coming to life from shards of ivory, Joel’s voiceover warns: “We can’t
turn back time, but we can reverse this trend. Don’t be the generation
that allowed elephants to go extinct.”
The “Take a Stand for
Elephants,” campaign was conceived and developed for 96 Elephants by pro
bono partner, Steve Harper, founder of ThisisBonaFide.com
“That first elephant roar sounded close. But I was so focused on the settings on my recorder that I didn’t bother to look around. The second roar sounded a lot closer. I thought, this is so cool! What I didn’t realize was, there was this huge bull elephant standing right underneath me — pointing his trunk up at me, just a few feet away. Apparently he was making a ‘dominance display.’ The thing is, I was so busy listening, I never looked up. I never saw him. The scientists on the other platform saw the whole thing.”
“A collection of five precious objects designed as jewellery boxes. The box becomes the jewels.
A greenhouse of enamel plique-à-jour with gold structures forming geometric motifs [first two photos]. A small bird on the roof is ready to fly away. The walls taken apart form two identical cuffs for the wrist and the roof becomes a bowl for marshmallows [third photo]. The floor is paved with diamond, opal
and obsidian and, when pulled out, its centre becomes a pendant [fifth photo]. This
miniature Orangerie has trees, statuary and a bench to sit on and
contemplate life. Some shoes have been left behind after a party. An
umbrella is left in an elephant foot stand in case it is raining when
you leave [fourth photo].This hothouse sits on a lotus leaf made of rose quartz and
I groaned as the pain in my lower back got worse, rolling over on the bed so I was lying flat on my stomach. I pulled my legs up underneath me and pushed out my arms in an attempt at a stretch, before groaning again and curling into a ball. A chuckle rang through the room, and lifted up my arm to see Ashton leaning against the door frame.
“How you doing baby?” He smiled, and I pouted at him.
“It hurts.” I whimper, and he chuckles again. “This isn’t funny Irwin.”
“No, of course not.” He nods, although I see the corner of his lip twitch.
“Tell you what. How about I buy an elephant and make it stand on your back, then you can laugh about my pain, okay?” I snap, and I feel the bed dip beside me.
“Lower back?” He asks, and I nod. “Alright then. One minute.”
The bed lifts again, and I hear him shuffle out of the room. I groan as another wave of pain hits me, rolling around on the bed in an attempt to find a semi-comfortable position.
“Up.” Ashton calls as he re-enters the room, and I blink at him in response. “C'mon Y/N. Up.”
He pulls me gently to my feet, guiding me to stand in front of him. He lifts my shirt, which happened to be his, and wraps an arm around my waist so a heat pad is attached to my lower back. I sigh in relief, and he smiles before handing me a bottle of water and a small pill. I quickly swallow it and he smiles at me, dragging me back into the bed. He grabs a tub of ice cream and hands me a spoon, giggling when I grin.
“You’re cute.” He smiles as I shovel a spoonful into my mouth.
“And you’re the best boyfriend ever.” I mutter, taking another spoonful.
“I was thinking about ordering a take away for dinner.”
“If you want Chinese, yeah.”
“Have I told you how much I love you?”
“Not recently.” He grins, pressing a kiss to my lips. “Does this mean you aren’t buying an elephant to stand on me?”
Michael’s head snapped up from the TV as I stopped into the room, flopping down onto the sofa beside him.
“I mean, as if being a girl wasn’t hard enough, boom. Blood coming out of your vagina for a week.”
“And to add to the inconvenience of having blood pouring out of you, you also get pain and mood swings and…”
“Is this your way of telling me we can’t have sex, because a simple ‘Not tonight’ would have been good.”
“Not everything is about sex Michael!” I roll my eyes, throwing the cushion at him.“
"Right. Okay.” He nods, pulling me into his side. “So periods suck.”
“Yeah. They do.” I sigh, tucking my head under his chin. “More than losing a game of GTA to Luke.”
“Ouch.” He mutters, his lips brushing against my head. “Sorry sweetheart.”
“It’s fine.” I tell him. “I just wish there was an easier way of being told I wasn’t pregnant once a month.”
“Like a text?”
“Yes. Like a text.”
“Or a card.”
“With a nice greeting.”
“Hey! No baby for you, maybe next month. Then a nice little drawing on the front.”
“I don’t know, a pizza or something.”
I giggle and burrow my face into his neck. He chuckles, pulling me even closer.
“Tell you what, next month I’ll make you a card.” He whispers, and I smile up at him.
“Shit.” I mutter, searching through my bag one last time. I groan when once again I discover that I don’t have any spare tampons with me. I look around the room for inspiration, sighing when I realise my only option is to call Luke.
“Hey, it’s me.”
“I thought you went to the toilet.”
“Luke I need you to get me tampons.”
The line went quiet, and I could hear the other boys in the background.
“Erm, yeah okay. Give me a minute.”
A beep signals he’s hung up, and I sit patiently, waiting for him to help. A few minutes go by when the door opens.
“Y/N? It’s Kylie.”
“End one.” I call back and I hear her shuffle over before sliding a box under the door. “Thanks.”
“Sure thing. By the way, Luke’s face was a picture.”
I smile at the thought, before quickly changing and disposing the old tampon before flushing the toilet and exiting the cubicle. Kylie grins at me before leaving the room as I wash my hands.
As I push open the door, I notice Luke leaning against the corridor wall, hands awkwardly shoved in his pockets. He looks up and smiles shyly, and I press a soft kiss to the corner of his mouth. He turns his head and captures my lips with his, grinning as he pulls away.
“Thanks.” I tell him, and he shrugs, entwining our hands and pulling me back to their dressing room.
“No big deal.”
I hear the door open and close, but I keep my eyes on the TV. Calum shuffles through the flat before dropping onto the sofa, nuzzling his head into my stomach.
“Good day?” I ask, breaking off another piece of chocolate and putting it into my mouth.
“Beach days are always good.” He replies, opening his mouth for chocolate. I roll my eyes before feeding him a piece. “Would’ve been better if you’d come.”
“I would, had Mother Nature not decided to give me a wonderful gift.” I tell him, lacing my free hand in his hair. He hums, turning his head to smile softly up at me.
“What about you? Good day?”
“I watched all three High School Musicals.”
“So that’s a yes then.” He grins, tilting his head to kiss my wrist. “I mean, you got to stare at Zac Efron and I know how much you like doing that.”
“Hmm, true.” I nod, smiling at him. “Although, I would much rather have spent the day with you at the beach.”
“I hate periods. They ruin all the fun.”
“You ought to try actually having one.” I mutter, finishing the chocolate whilst he furrows his eyebrows.
“There has to be a way to fix this problem.” He muses.
“Well it’s called pregnancy.”
“Guess you’ll have to get pregnant. Then you can come with me to the beach.” He grins up at me and I roll my eyes.
“Yes. Then we don’t have anything to worry about. Except, maybe, you know, a baby.”
“Details, details.” He waves his hand in the air and I giggle. He grins again, and I lean down to kiss him. His smile softens as I pull away, his hand coming up to hold my face close to his. “Sure you don’t want that baby?”