On the way to my hostel in Pelling (Sikkim), I found an abandoned puppy that had been about to be hit by a jeep. I sneaked him into my room, I gave him biscuits soaked in milk, coughed hard with each of his weak barking, and once he was recovered I left him by the side of a female dog in a nearby house that received him with affection (I couldn’t think of any better way to deal with the situation over there). There is so much life in a puppy, how much the more in the people (soldiers and civilians) who were losing theirs at that very moment in Iraq…”Don´t we humans know to do it better?,” I asked myself.

The next day it dawned under a fine rain. I went to the bus stop and boarded a jeep bound for Siliguri. We were descending at a high speed (it seemed too fast for the bumpy and windy road) when, suddenly, the driver hit the brakes and pointed to the river that ran along the valley. “An elephant!,” he shouted. The vision of a wild elephant moved us all. The driver admitted that that was the first one he had seen, and he had been driving on those roads for many years.

The experience of seeing an elephant in its natural environment doesn’t compare to that of seeing him/her locked in a zoo, or enslaved in a circus. After about a minute of such a magnificent sight, the elephant lifted the trunk and hid in the woods. “As if the spirit of Sikkim had come to say goodbye,” I thought.

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