Thursday, April 21, 2016


50 years in chains, Raju, 50 years,
stolen from your mother as a baby,
her cries screaming across the desert
as the truck sped you away,
long years you endured being a street elephant,
made to "perform" day after day.

Your back legs were chained with spikes
that cut into your flesh.
Fifty years of unendurable pain.
Yet you endured;
you had no choice.
You lay on concrete, in despair,
in hopelessness, in unending misery,
no grass to walk on,
no tree boughs to reach,
no other elephants with whom to speak,
so hungry, you ate paper and plastic.

You had 27 owners, and none were kind,
were poked and prodded  to wag your trunk,
and beg for coins to feed your keeper.

(How can my heart hold so much grief and despair
at how far we humans are from understanding
how to care?)

When your rescuers came by night,
your "owner" argued.
While they fought to free you,
they say tears rolled down your face,
as you realized the impossible had happened,
and your rescue was at hand.
You walked painfully onto the truck without hesitation,
not knowing if this 28th life would be better or worse,
just knowing anywhere would be better than this.
For you, the miracle: a sanctuary,
where you were fed and bathed
and your painful chains removed.

Raju, you will never
be chained again.

(I apologize for the ignorance of my species,
that you and so many others
endure such lives.
How can they not know how deeply you feel?
How can they not care?)

You had lost your faith in humankind
and it took time to learn that some of us are kind.
Your minders are patient and gentle
and love you well, so now you have no tears.

At last, you know the freedom
of walking grassy trails,
eating grass, lying in your bathing pool.
You love sweet things and apples,
and can have your fill.
Other elephants walk with you,
your low rumbles to each other
expressing contentment at the change
that has come into your life.

(Now our tears are for the others,
still in chains.)

In the world of my imagination,
(something that will never happen
since humans are such a sorry lot),
not one animal is chained,
each one  free to be who he or she  is meant to be.
This world will not evolve until
each human understands
animals feel exactly the same emotions:
joy and pain and sorrow, hope and despair,
love, devotion, grief, loyalty and fear,
as we.

source: Wildlife SOS film

Daily Mail news article

You may donate to Wildlife SOS, who have rescued many abused elephants, and are working tirelessly to rescue many more.

for Fireblossom's prompt at Real Toads: a poem with an elephant in it.

Day 21


  1. So made me to think ...when humans will learn to live as one with the nature, instead of trying to rule it

  2. Yes we do so much bad things... yet maybe it's easier to blame the poor and uneducated for cruelty than questioning when we buy meat for dinner... But this is heartbreaking to read...and stories like this is needed for awareness.

    1. You have nailed it, Bjorn. What happens to the animals on our plates is just as heartbreaking and outrageous. I wonder if people in the meat plants eat meat at night……I imagine they do. They must just think the animals are commodities. They obviously don’t care that they feel the fear, the pain, the trauma, the beatings, being hung on hooks. Agh.

  3. A very touching story. I have the manuscript not ever brought up to snuff of elephants escaping to a refuge in Tennessee. The people do such good work. Thanks. K.

  4. All sorts of tears for this one. Your final words are so true.

  5. A very moving account with (thankfully) a sweet ending for Raju. But when will we learn, if ever at all? I agree with brudberg: stories like this are necessary, especially when they give voice to the vulnerable so exquisitely.

  6. Ah Sherry--I have read about this--it is a truly terrible(and in the end beautiful) story. Our endless cruelty to those whom we can dominate makes me doubt whether we will ever learn to be kind to anything, least of all ourselves.

  7. There's nothing okay about what they've been made to endure. It's devastating.

  8. Oh Sherry, this is beautiful! *tears*

  9. As someone, who has rescued and taken in. an abused and abandoned kitten, this poem hurts me, in a way, I want to cry tears of sorrow and frustration, for the human species. Not sure, we will ever learn our lesson, this planet is be shared by all creatures, great and small. And not, just the one, who egoistically thinks, we're masters, over all.

  10. Oh, this is a painful story, Sherry. I am glad that at last Raju was rescued and now has a decent quality of long last. This was a heart-breaker.

  11. You said what I feel about these magnificent animals, Sherry, and brought me to tears doing it.


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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!