Elephant man

March 1, 2010
I was big for my age, one of the biggest things in the world for the amount of years I had turned. My mother died while giving birth to me, so it was just me and my dad. I was almost fourteen years old at the time when I was living in the Southern part of Africa. My life was boring, but it was enjoyable due to the freedom I had. I moved with my herd everywhere they went and we just roamed fields and ate food. Our day was composed of marching, eating, and going to the bathroom. Occasionally we played with some of the really young elephants in order for them to have some fun. We fended for ourselves, got food when we wanted to eat, and ate what we wanted. I never had meat before. To be honest I have always wanted to try it, but it is against our morals as elephants. We are not supposed to eat meat, just plants, we are herbivores.

One day, as we do everyday, my herd and I were in a large field surrounded by miles of trees. We figured we were safe in this place because of the surroundings. We did not want any of the tribe captured or taken in by hunters or traders. Recently we heard of a whole herd going down to the hunters who use us for entertainment or kill us and take our tusks. As we were marching together, a young calf made a loud sound with his trunk. Everyone quickly about faced as quickly as possible. The baby elephant was dead, and a hunter was the murderer. He and his group of partners were surrounding us. The herd began to run to a haven that seemed safe at the time. However, I looked over to see another calf even younger than me about to be captured and taken in by the hunters. I could not let this happen and live with a free conscious the rest of my life. I ran as fast as I can, trying to reach the young elephant’s killers before it was too late. I sprinted pretty fast for something my size, making large footprints with every step. I figured that after this one of my friends would make fun of me for making it seem like an earthquake, but I kept running. When I reached the elephant, they were about to take their shots at the young boy’s legs. Although we are generally known as pacifists who don’t even fight back, I jumped on the hunters. I believe I had stomped out two of them and I yelled with my trunk to the calf, signifying for him to run away with the herd. Hesitant to leave me at first, he ran, and I trailed behind him, making sure he would not be captured and that I took some of the shots for him. It seemed we were home free, and the little calf had already made it, when I felt a severe pain in one of my hind legs. I slowly went down to the ground. The impact was legendary and I’m sure that the hunters felt it. However, they netted me and I blacked out. I am not sure how they took me to where they wanted to go, but they did.
The next time I woke up, I was inside a tent with hundreds of men surrounding me. They were caring for me, and feeding me. I felt good at first, but then I realized what they were doing. This pattern continued for the next few days, maybe even a week, but the good feelings quickly diminished. I was put into a caged area. Not able to leave for my legs were attached to some metal beam they had stored in the ground. It would not budge. I stopped trying after a while, accepted the fact that I was stuck. I was able to move around in my zone. Although it had some space, I did not have a lot of freedom to move. They fed me when I wanted to eat, and they cleaned me up after using the bathroom. It seemed to be a perfect deal, but it was no substitute for freedom. I could not live trapped like this for the rest of my life. Only once or twice a week was I ever taken out, and it was only for a short period of time. I needed change to happen.

My pattern of life continued for almost 35 years. I have to say for the last few years I wanted to end my own life. People just looked at me, they came, read the little blurb my owners placed near my cage, looked at me in awe, and went on. I hated the life. However, I was now almost 50 years old, and my life was about to change. My owner was taking me for a walk, and was talking to one of the men I would see on a daily basis. He usually cleaned me up. They were talking about one elephant that was ready to move on from the zoo. The whole time I was hoping it was not me because I thought this meant they were going to kill the animal. However I heard my name, and I began to panic. Although then I heard them saying he was going to be in the circus. I was overfilled with joy. My uncle was in the circus. My father was telling me that it seemed like the best job in the world. I was thrilled to see what was to come.
Over the next few days, I spent my time getting dressed in the back. Three guys would prop me up with different suits to see which fit me the best. Next, I would be given a bath and cleaned. I was ready they said. I was dressed in blue and yellow and had a hat on, and I was sparkly clean. I walked down with no assistance. I didn’t need anybody to contain me with any tools, they just let me roam. I walked into a stadium filled with thousands upon thousands of people. They called it the Garden, although it didn’t really seem like a Garden to me. Nevertheless, a woman climbed on top of my back and then I just walked around for almost 20 minutes. The fresh air was great and I felt as though I was free. At the end they just let me roam the place going to the bathroom when ever I pleased. I ate well after the show and they taught me new tricks to do although they were hard. I had a new and great life at my old age. I was so happy that this change came. I felt like a kid again when I was in the wild in Africa. However this was better, I had all the luxuries I use to have except now I had people and friends that cared for me when I wanted to be cared for. People who would make my life better. My cycle of life was now complete.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

hellosmoke1 said...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 6:52 am
everyone should write like you; we would have a perfect world
JimboThePoeT said...
Mar. 17, 2010 at 6:48 am
I wrote this, you were absent from class that day, hope you get writen up.
hellosmoke1 said...
Mar. 17, 2010 at 6:40 am
this has really great flow and it tells a heroic story, good work chap
chris12345 said...
Mar. 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm
wow, this was really good, keep writing you seem to have nice potential, sincerely, chris smith (TeenInk Editor)
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