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Elephants, meat-eating humans and elephants’ friends

By Kole Omotoso
03 October 2021   |   3:30 am
Once upon a time a community of elephants went down to the river to take a drink. Unfortunately a child elephant fell into a mud hole and, no matter what it did, he couldn’t get out of the muddy hole.

Once upon a time a community of elephants went down to the river to take a drink. Unfortunately a child elephant fell into a mud hole and, no matter what it did, he couldn’t get out of the muddy hole. The more he tried the worse his situation got. His parents noticed what was happening to their child and they went to help him, nudging him from behind. But the hole was small and so slippery that there was not enough room for them to help little elephant out of the hole.

Other elephants came to help, siblings, uncles and cousins but nothing worked. Baby elephant was getting tired; its energy getting spent. The day was already on its way to the place of yesterday and the parents, the relatives and the community of elephants were getting anxious. They began to stamp their feet and walk up and down by the hole in the river. Soon they added their voices. They realized that their condition was dire and they needed to call for help. True, they made it a point of duty to avoid the company of humans. What they could do to a young one like the one in distress was unthinkable. But the situation was dire. They needed help. So, they added their voices to the stamping of their feet and the earth trebled under us all.

There was a community of forest guards, government employees, whose duty it was to guard the forest from poachers and molesters of all and every animal in the name of bush meat and business.

It was the rescuers who were the first to respond to the appeal of the elephants. But they too were weary. They did not know what was the matter with the elephants and so they had to be careful. Six men and two women got into two Jeeps and drove towards the forest.

They came to the river and established at once that their young one was in distress. They had to make a plan. They needed to widen the hole and make a path for the young elephant to walk to firmer ground and be saved. So, two of the men went back town to get an earth mover and various equipment to dig and carve and save the young animal.

The elephants had made way for the men and women to where their child was. They were quiet for some time hoping something was being done by these men to save their child. But the men were waiting for equipment to arrive and they could resume their rescue job. But the elephants were restless again, stamping their feet and grumbling. Soon though they heard the coming of the machinery and they became quiet again. Once the material arrived they went to work. In no time at all there was a path for the little animal to move. But it was tired.

Darkness was upon the group around the river and hole that endangered the life of the elephant. The head lights of the Jeeps came on and the place was lit up. They could do with more light though.

And more light came. But, unknown to the humans and elephants, it was the wrong type of men, fellows who were looking for meat. As soon as they approached the elephant parents, the elephant relatives sensed their foul intentions and immediately stopped them and drove them as far away as possible. Two people went to investigate, found the two men trying to steal back to the river. They caught them and tied them up. They placed them inside their pick-up and drove back to the river.

The work was quite advanced by now and it was possible to notice that the elephants were patiently awaiting the liberation of their child. The women got behind the young elephant and helped him to the firm ground. Once it was on firm ground it scampered to his parents. They welcomed him and showed him love while they entwined their trunks, overjoyed that their baby was safe at last. The uncles and the cousins joined the parents to show their joy just as the other members of the community of elephants showed their feelings over the freeing of the young elephant.

The expression of the joy of the elephants so moved some of the humans that they burst into tears, tears of surprise, and tears of joy.

While the humans gathered their equipment, they stopped because the elephants were lining up on one side of the river, opposite to the side where the humans were. Once they had lined up, one elder elephant brought the two men who had been tied up, pushed them to the humans into the river as if to say you will have to judge these two yourselves. Left to us, we know what we would do. Two of the rescuers who were in uniform got into the river and brought the men to their side of the bank of the river. They were well-known poachers and smugglers of animal part in the forest reserve.

Once the matter of the smugglers was sorted, the elephants lined up and raised their trunks. They gave a trumpeting music from their raised trunks; it was not only something to behold but to hear; it was to hear a thousand thank-yous in as many languages as you like. No where on earth have animals communicated their gratitude to humans in such explicit languages.

The elephants lowered their trunks and begin their march back to the forest where they had come to drink water. The humans began to clap as the elephants marched on their way to their abode in the forest.

The humans felt gratitude in their hearts to witness such a scene of reconciliation between animals and human beings. All human preservations of animals is for the selfish reason of humans. They wish to preserve these animals so that our children and their children would not be deprived of knowing these mammals as their parents and their parents’ parents knew them.

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