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A TOUGH “FRIENDLY” ELEPHANT POLO MATCH IN THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE OF THAILAND (Episode 2 of 4)

November 30, 2014


Some years ago, Khun Joey and I played an elephant polo scrum against the former General Manager of the Four Seasons Tented Camp and his wife at the Wang Lao soccer pitch.  I played attack and Joey was on defense.  Although I do not view myself as a particularly competitive person, I may be the only one who has that perspective.  In any event, Joey strayed from the goal and I yelled, ”defense!”  That was the last time we played on the same team.  I have learned that it is better to play against each other so I can influence the outcome.

The warm up with Khun Khan and Pepsi may have been the most exciting event in our match.  Khun Khan saved my bacon several years ago when a helicopter flew over the Wang Lao school soccer field and my elephant, Jenny, went loco.  The situation quickly moved from bad to worse as the pilot was intrigued by elephant polo and hovered over the pitch. In case you did not know, elephants are afraid of bees and the sound of helicopters.  Fear of bees I understand but the helicopter situation is puzzling, though very scary.  Maybe, I should refer that question to Josh Plotnik, our resident elephant psychologist in The Golden Triangle.

As you can see, Joey and I are competing for the ball.  Joey accused me of “hooking” which is the use your mallet to hook that of the opponent.  Now, any objective view of this situation should be very clear that I am merely putting my mallet against the ball to prevent her from advancing toward the goal.

You might have guessed the outcome of this match.  The victory sign is for Khun Joey’s 1 to 0 win.  After all, I may be competitive but I am not stupid.