Animal poems - Elephant
... distinguished, wise, intelligent
Stories of elephants are legendary.
And all of them true.
Stories of a herd grieving for years over the death of a young one. Rolling it around with their trunks for hours, willing it to move with tears in their eyes.
Memorizing the face of a human hunter, then tracking him down years later, to kill him in revenge then show the same signs of remorse you might expect from a person.
My first encounter with an elephant I was very young.
Thousands of kilometers and two decades of my life away from Africa.
A dense forest trail in Southeast Asia, where we heard a booming trumpet from just meters away.
My dad and I were as terrified as ever in our lives, and we bolted as fast as we've ever run, in terror towards a car. There we watched in awe as, slowly, a family of elephants emerged from dense jungle and crossed the road with the sunset behind them. The largest of the elephants, I swear, stopped a moment to look directly at me and communicated with her wise old eyes. Somehow I felt I was never in any real danger, she just wanted us to know that they were in command of the forest, and we were to move out of their way.
Decades later I saw their larger cousins in Africa.
Herds of slow moving, giant grey ships, slowly migrating the green ocean plains of the African savannah. Lumbering boats.
Thick wrinkled skin, full of character. Character from their tusks to their giant ears and their powerful legs.
All suggest the distinguished power of an ancient creature.
An elephant never forgets they say. Probably they remember my face too.
Even as a playful youngster, an elephant memorizes every inch of ground, and how to migrate hundreds of miles to a single precious water hole.
These giant gray ships are the messiah of the Serengeti.
In the eyes of an elephant is an intelligence, compassion and depth unparalleled in all Africa, even in humanity.
Sought for their tusks by the wicked.
Admired for their powerful grace by the good.
May the stories of elephants continue for eternity, so that thousands of generations become inspired by their gentle soulful eyes.
-- by Andrew Noske