10/20/15 05:36 pm - 22 fascinating facts about elephants (according to Bartholomaeus Anglicus, in the year 1240)
1. Elephants have more wit and mind than any other beast.
2. They avoid mice, and run away from them.
3. They do the deed of reproduction backwards, and then the female gives birth in water or in the forest. She leaves her foal where he was born, because of the dragons which are their enemies and kill them. She is pregnant two years, and has sex once, and lives for three hundred years, as Isidore says.
4. Pliny says that elephants are the most virtuous beasts.
5. At the new moon, elephants come together in great crowds, and wash themselves in a river. Then they go home to their own places, but they look after the young elephants and make them walk front of them.
6. When elephants are ill, they go and gather medicinal herbs. Before they use the herbs, they look up to heaven and pray for the help of God, in some religion.
7. Elephants are clever, good at learning, and easy to teach. You can teach them to recognise the king, and then they will kneel down when they see him.
8. If an elephant sees a lost human coming towards her, she will hide, so as not to scare him. Then she shows herself bit by bit, and leads him home. But if a dragon should pass by, she will fight it, and defend the man. She does this especially when she has foals, because she's afraid that the man might come and find them. So it makes sense to lead him out of the wilderness.
9. Elephants always go around together, and the oldest one leads the way. If they come to a river, they send the little elephants over first, in case the big elephants break up the crossing place.
10. Also, elephants are strangely modest. They have sex in hidden places, when the male is five years old and the female between ten and twelve. In that two years she is only fertile for five days. So people in India hide their tame female elephants when they are in season, because otherwise the wild elephants will knock down their houses and stables.
11. Tame elephants are very useful in battles, because they can knock over soldiers, and that's wonderful. They're not afraid of armies. On the other hand, they are afraid of pigs, and they run away if they hear one.
12. Elephants can knock down tall trees in order to eat the fruit.
13. Elephant blood is cold. Dragons like to drink it to cool themselves down.
14. Elephants get cold in the winter.
15. They can wade in water up to their chins, and they can swim. But they can't swim for too long, because they're heavy.
16. Elephants are never malicious, but they are sometimes accidentally cruel or fierce-- for example, if you make them angry, or if you get them drunk. So some people give wine to elephants, to make them fiercer in battles.
17. Elephants keep track of the movements of the stars. When the moon is full, they go to the river, and greet the sunrise by dancing.
18. When an elephant is being chased by ivory hunters, it smashes its tusks together and breaks them, so that the hunter will leave it alone.
19. Elephants mate for life. Male elephants never fight over females. In fact, elephants don't fight much at all. But if they fight and one of them is wounded, they put the wounded elephant in the middle of the herd for safety, and defend it more than they defend themselves.
20. If an elephant eats a chameleon, he will go and eat a wild olive tree, which is a remedy against the chameleon's venom.
21. An elephant has a soft belly and a hard back. So when he fights a unicorn, he puts his back towards it, in case the unicorn sticks its horn into his belly.
22. Elephants have very little hair, no bristles, and large, long, thin ears that hang down.
This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/343295.ht