Sunday, August 21, 2016


Row upon row of grinning people, munching popcorn, 
eyes on the ring, ready to be entertained,
and in she comes, huge grey beast,
prodded by sharp poles, yelled at by trainers.
She sullenly complies till, one sharp jab too many,
she turns on her keeper, knocks him down,
rolls him around the floor, enraged,
charges out of the tent, folks screaming and scattering,
is shot in the street, paying for her captors' harshness
with her life - this life she did not choose.

TYKE was an African elephant, not suited for circus work, (what elephant is?) yet made to perform anyway, for years,  until the day in 1994 when she snapped, killed her trainer, and ran into the streets of Honolulu. She was shot and killed by police, who fired 86 bullets into her. There is a film about her, (Tyke: Elephant Outlaw) explaining how owners had been advised against continuing to force her to perform, advice ignored in the interest of finances, as usual. She was not the outlaw, in her run for a freedom found only in her death. This breaks my heart.

for Kerry's prompt at the Sunday Mini Challenge at Real Toads: ten lines on the theme of "This is not what we came here to see."

source: Wikipedia


  1. It's so sad what humans can do... sometimes I wonder if it's just the money or if it's a joy in being cruel too.

  2. Why do humans do what they do? I will never understand cruelty. Powerful Sherry.

  3. Some people make me sick. Poor Tyke. Poor soul.

  4. this happens all too often on our broken planet. One day the lion will lay down with the lamb

  5. Oh Sherry, I didn't like hearing about this. Also a terrible movie even if it is true. (I don't watch war movies either.)
    A good book, made into a movie, 2011, that I didn't see, is "Water for Elephants," a historical novel by Sara Gruen. I would like to see the movie but missed it in the theatres.
    But thank you for telling the story. I needed to know.

  6. Such a sad story - it always depresses me to hear of animals abuses for our so-called 'entertainment'.. Definitely not something I ever want to see.

  7. California is taking big steps on animal rights.
    Will share this

  8. August 12 was World Elephant Day; a sad story; Thanks for sharing Sherry

    much love...

  9. It is most unfair to pay for one's freedom with one's own life. Even animals treasure such rights let alone humans who are good thinking but 'enslaved'



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