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Discussing The Elephant In The Room

| Learning | August 6, 2015

(I teach English as a Foreign Language in a small Junior College in Japan. We have Sri Lankan students that enroll, and the particular class I am teaching is about pests…)

Me: “Who can tell me of a troublesome animal?”

Student: “Oh, [My Name], I can tell you about one.”

Me: “What kind of animal is it?”

Student: “Wild Elephants!”

Me: “Wild Elephants? What on earth! Where did you see wild elephants as pests?!”

Student: “They are on my uncle’s tea farm outside of Colombo. They cause him lots of trouble. They get into his tea plants, his barns, his garbage, even his house sometimes. It’s terrible! They usually come at night!”

Me: “How do you get rid of wild elephants?”

Student: “Oh, my uncle usually needs LOTS of help!”

(Turns out that this phenomena is true! About a year after this student told me this story, a special aired on “National Geographic” that documented the trouble that Sri Lankan tea farmers have with wild elephants that come out of the jungle at night to literally terrorize tea plantations and their farmers.)

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