I Believe in Isaac

An Elephant Can Kill You in Six Ways

Posted in Uncategorized by isaacmcphee on September 8, 2009

“An elephant,” so he said, “can kill you in any one of six ways.”

We were, of course, in awe of such a statement and certainly desired to hear more.  One cannot simply make such a bold declaration and presume that others will not wish it to be expounded upon.  He knew this, of course, and was ready with his explanations.  Explanations of not just one or two of the elephant’s homicidal methods, but with all six; all presented in the fullness of horrific detail.

The first method possessed by an elephant with which to take the lives of his victims is perhaps that which is least shocking.  This, of course, is known in every corner of this globe as “the trample.”

An elephant can and will trample any man who should dare stand in his path, and there is a very good chance that he will go out of his way to trample a man who is very much minding his own business.  The elephant considers this nothing less than his modus operandi, and one would be well advised to resist arguing this point with him, as elephants commonly have much more pressing matters to attend to than to argue matters of behavior with what they uniformly consider to be a “lesser species.”  While we, of course, are most correct in asserting to the contrary – that is, that it is we who are the greater of the two species’, as we have motorized boats and Chunnels to our name – there is not much point in trying to convey this to an elephant, as they do not speak, and are liable to trample anyone who dares oppose them.

Not to move along with an excess of speed, but it is important, so said that experts on all things pachyderm, that we move along to the second point, as the first was so simplistic that it need not be explained any further.

The second method by which an elephant can kill a man is, of course, by way of its bite.  While other animals are far more well known for the ferocity and deadliness of their bite, it is the elephant’s which is surely the most fierce when one finds themselves in the midst of an angry herd.  So it certainly pays to know something of an elephant’s teeth.

The incisors can grow upwards of six inches from the gum.  That is certainly sufficient to pierce a man’s spine should they be inserted through the front of the abdomen, or enough to pierce the hart if inserted through the back of the ribcage.  Either of these methods are commonly employed by most common species of elephants, – including African, Indian, and Northwestern European – with very little abandon or concern for human rights.  For to them human rights, if anything, are a joke – something to be laughed about around the savannah or in culs-de-sac.

Teeth in a very general sense are fearsome when being used to bite through a man’s skin, but certainly all the more dangerous when they are in the mouth of the world’s largest land mammal.

The third way that elephants have been known to indulge in their murderous ways is through the act of mistaking a man as a pile of hay and sitting on him.  Laugh as you might at such a scene, this happens far more often than is thought by most.  It has been estimated, in fact, that worldwide more humans are killed by being sat on by elephants than by either being struck on the head by shovels or being crushed by falling timber.  Perhaps even both put together – and the risk only increases when an elephant is in captivity, where seating is far less ample than in the wild.

Fourth, an elephant may infect a human with any number of deadly viruses to which man has not built up an appropriate immunity.  These imparted illnesses are terrifying enough to put the venom of the asp to shame.  Even the sparsest interaction with the person of an elephant is more than likely to result in the exchange of several  billion bacteria, some number of which are most certainly hostile to the health of humanity.  Only those who have spent some significant amount of time in the company of elephants might grow to withstand such terrible calamities – but alas! Would one dare spend time in the company of elephants simply to achieve such an immune defense if it means risking death by any of an elephant’s ample other means of killing?

Fifth, and penultimate, elephants have been known to kill by means of suffocating men with their ears.  As much as there is very little to say about this method, for it is so simple that even a child could understand it, there is value in repetition.  An elephant may kill with his ears.  One often wonders the reason for an elephant’s massive ears, but the answer is easily discovered by being around these beasts during feeding time.  With their strong, yet gentle trunks they embrace their victim (whether it be human, rodent or wildebeest) and draw him up, not directly to their mouth – for they do not eat their victims alive – but to their ears, where they proceed to wrap the animal in these terribly strong flaps of skin like a giant boa constrictor until the breathing stops.  Only then is the animal eaten.

Sixth and last on the list is surely the most shocking of all – the man said as we all waited with baited breath, hanging upon his every word as he imparted upon us his elephantine knowledge – elephants have certainly killed by means which must remain a mystery.

It is clear by the ample evidence provided that elephants possess a certain means by which to end the life of a human in such a way that even the most modern medicine is unable to determine precisely what caused this tragedy, for there are neither marks on the body nor signs of a struggle.  While elephants may not be particularly known for their abilities of stealth, this has in no way impeded the continuation of these mysterious deaths.  Individuals throughout the world have woken up only to find themselves having been killed by an elephant during the night.  How do we know that elephants are responsible for these innumerable deaths?   Precisely because it is only in areas where elephants are known to dwell that they occur.  Also, there is universally a faint smell of peanuts to be found in the vicinity of the death.

This final method by which elephants have to systematically thin the human population is one which should certainly be capable of keeping one awake at night, for even if one does not particularly live in an area where elephants are known to roam free and to stalk the land in search of human victims, they are certainly not far from a zoo, where elephants most certainly dwell, contemplating escapes and reigns of terror.  You could die tonight, and an elephant could be responsible.

So he said, and so we believed, because it was true.


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