For elephant lovers


A ranch manager told me a story about the social behaviour of elephants.  He had grown up on another ranch, and recalled an occasion when, on the border of their property they found a distressed young elephant mourning the death of its mother. She had been shot by poachers for her tusks.

They persuaded and coerced the hungry young elephant to return with them to the ranch house, where he became part of an unruly but happy menagerie of cattle and horses, dogs and people.  He loved splashing in the farm dam. They fed and cared for him and over the months he grew and grew until it was decided he would be better off living with his own kind in the wild.  A herd of elephants was known to be passing the ranch at the time and they delivered their charge by horse box to where they were browsing.  He trotted off without any difficulty and seemed to have no problem being accepted by the herd. The herd moved off.

Early one morning two years later, a group of elephants mysteriously appeared, standing in silence out in the bush.  A single creature emerged from the group and walked heavily towards the ranch house.  He dragged a stake, his leg caught up in rolls of barbed wire and badly wounded. It was their old friend. They released him from the wire, treated his wounds, and then watched as he returned to the herd, which closed ranks around him and silently melted away through the trees.


Adam Ford  Mindful Thoughts For Walkers

6 thoughts on “For elephant lovers

  1. Wonderful story. Elephants are in my ken today. I put an i elephant in a small girl’s imaginary circus in a haibun for a poetry discussion today, and the group responded with, “we just read a local opinion columnist talking about George Orwell’s killing the elephant in India, and so we don’t like you putting an elephant in your haibun.” It’s hard to get things right these days. Your story balances that. Thanks —

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