The fires used to drive them away.
At 11 PM exactly while sitting in the ward and writing discharge summaries !
After having spent a whole day hearing rumors about them being around Tha’s house and other villages they turn up right near the junction of the three roads ahead of the hospital(downtown Sitthilingi) followed by an angry mob(not always a good thing).
They went into the fields and were enjoying a late night snack when the farmers drove them away with crackers,fires and loud tractors.
A cat and mouse game ensued with everyone using the hospital as a sanctuary to run in when they got too close and run out when they weren’t . Got a bit tiring after four or five times. One ran right in front of the hospital gate!
There were six in total and one seemed to have strayed away and was trumpeting quite fearfully what with all the people, fires and noise.
Mixed feelings …….I empathize with the farmers whom I know well now and the situation is bad with no rains but its not the elephants fault either with us causing a dwindling of their habitat.