Last but obviously not least – Tara. Tara the elephant. Tara, Mark Shand’s elephant. Mark Shand (he unfortunately died earlier this year, he was Camilla – Duchess of Cornwall’s brother) wrote a book called Travels on my Elephant, which was the story of how he rode an elephant through parts of India over a few months. That Elephant – Tara – has now lived at Kipling for the last 25 years (my age…). She arrived by fate; Mark had finished his journey and had taken Tara to an Elephant market, furious he couldn’t find anyone he trusted to take proper care of her he holed himself up in his tent. This tent had a Union Jack outside it and so Belinda and her Mother Anne who were at the market to buy an Elephant to live at Kipling thought they’d investigate this Union Jacked anomaly. And the rest they say is ... (http://www.kiplingcamp.com/tara-more.html)
Guests (and me) feed Tara then walk her down to the river where we swim with her then scrub her with big rocks. She's one of the most spoiled and happy elephants in India. At 60 years plus, she is getting on a little but every afternoon at 3 O’ Clock when she leaves her stable for the river, she pretty much sprints down. Her favourite part of the day.
We went down to the river the other day with Belinda and some of her friends cum guests. Everything is slightly more stressful when Belinda is here, I have to balance making sure everyone has fun, knows they can go swimming with Tara, getting Mutsu to set up tea and cake, whilst I am also desperately trying to hide my tattoos from my new boss which leads to a very awkward style of swimming and tea preparation…. The troubles of being badass eh?