A father who was walking his children to school abandoned them and fled after coming face-to-face with a herd of elephants at Tewane village near Mahalapye.
Struck with the fear and fright, the dad, who was escorting the children from a nearby arable farm (masimo) to where they attend school, ran away to safety, leaving his children behind when he saw the herd, that was probably minding its own business, approaching.
All protective paternal instincts of flew out of the window and witnesses who saw him whiz passed them quipped he would have made Nijel Amos green with envy. The man only realised after arriving home that he had left his children back in the forest, and that if there was any danger, the young ones were now much more exposed to it.
At home, his wife and mother of the children, Moseti Bafedile, confirmed that her husband suddenly developed chicken feet as soon as he saw the huge animals trudging past.
“It was the first time in his life that he saw elephants. He told me that fear made him react without thinking,” said Bafedile. Fortunately for the children, they were ahead of their father and they arrived at school safely and without witnessing the whole spectacle.
“I must confess, I initially felt so indignant that he abandoned the children when danger was lurking, but later on when I was in the field I saw the elephants myself and I was struck with fear.
“I was alone then and I thought I was finished. I have seen a lot of animals, but as for elephants I had only heard about them, until this week when I encountered them unexpectedly. “The whole experience compelled me to go easy on the poor man,” said the loving wife. The four elephants have certainly left a trail of terror and excitement in the small village of Tewane.
While some remained confused and fear stricken, the adventurous ones follow the elephants’ trail collecting their dung that is believed to be a very powerful charm.
Kgosi Keabetswe Kalanke of Tewane village said the elephants have been reported to officials of the Wildlife Department who are currently taking care of the children, especially in view of the safety of the schoolgoing children.