Muslim Kids Read

Fun comics, stories, & illustrations for Muslim youth

My Capture – A Tale of a Trunk

on April 13, 2013

A Short Story by Imaan Kazmi

I had been grazing for several hours by the crowded jungle waterhole, and decided to take a light nap; for my stomach was full and relaxed and my head felt pretty heavy. My fellow herd-elephants prepared for sleep, while others kept watch, and the rest of us lumbered off to lean against a nearby acacia tree. I finally chose a quiet, shady tree just at the edge of the savanna’s forest, not so very far off. I leaned my weight against the scratchy bark, closed my eyes and rested.

Elephant in the African Savannah

Elephant in the African Savannah

I must have been moving in my sleep, for I woke up with a start of shock and pain shooting from my trunk and through my body. My long, grey trunk was trapped in something metallic and shiny hanging somewhat from a branch, and it was all cut up and bleeding – and the agonizing sharp thin piece of metal kept digging further into it as I pulled and tugged to get loose. I tried to trumpet aloud for help from my herd, but when I did so, my trunk hurt so badly I thought I would go numb with pain. I gave up and stood still for what seemed to me like several hours, trembling with fear and agony.

Elephant's trunk caught in a wire snare set by poachers

Elephant’s trunk caught in a wire snare set by poachers

After quite a long while had passed, from the bushes behind me, I thought I heard a rustling and a sympathetic, strange voice murmured, “Poor beast, caught in a wire snare by its trunk, those heartless, thieving poachers!” Before I could react to it, though, I felt something prick me on my back, and jolted up, ready to bolt. But suddenly the world spun round in my mind, making me very dizzy and drowsy, and as I dropped down, everything went a totally pitch-black – and I thought I was dead for sure.

But once I awoke, I found myself in an alien, unfamiliar place. I still felt sleepy and dull, and no doubt I was in a pretty, clean area, with sweet green grass under my large heavy feet, and plenty of bushes surrounding – an unnatural tall iron bar fence, not to mention a huge wooden shelter. Strangely, they did not worry me, nor was I as wary as I usually should have been. I hardly observed a two-legged creature approach me from somewhere, and in his paw he carried a plastic container that humans call a “bucket.” I took no notice of him, and he walked closer and closer, as I stood still and motionless. Once he was right beside me, I smelt a familiar scent off his clothes, a muddy “elephantish” smell.

He grinned widely, and spoke in a caressing, gentle voice, “There, there, Pet. You’ll be needing food, since you can’t use your trunk, now that those bad guys trapped you, poor baby,” as he spoke, he stroked my skin with a warm brown hand and scooped up handfuls of feed from the bucket, and placed it right below my mouth, which I tried to pick up using my trunk, but much to my astonishment, I couldn’t reach it; the other bottom half was now cut off! My long, grey, helpful and beautiful trunk was useless now, and I just couldn’t seem to understand it. I tried two or three more times, and all the time ending up with a miserable failure. So, I accepted his hand and gobbled it down right there and then. It was a lovely warm mix of golden hay, fresh corn, bruised oats and a porridge, but unknown to me they were sprinkled with some kind of medical powder.

Elephant healing in a nursing area

Elephant healing in a nursing area

I lived in that hospitable place for a number of countless days, and began to get a little used to it and the gentle humans there. I recognized old Dick every time he entered my paddock to feed me or “muck out,” as he would call it; he would clean out my stall on a regular basis. I grew fond of him, and loved all of him – the kind and patient heart of his, his soft petting hands, his grassy smell, and most of all, his tender low understanding voice. Every afternoon, he would bring a whole group of people along with him, to treat my injured trunk, and apply several powders, sprays and creams on it.

I will never forget the day that I was released out into my old home on the wild open range. It occurred on a sunny morning, I was being led around my paddock as usual, eating food from trusty Dick’s hand, when he took me to a hidden huge door at the edge of the field, where the brush and hedge had been cleared. I strode out with him, alert and wary as ever, but with the scrumptious feed and Dick’s soothing voice, I followed my friend up a sloping sturdy ramp. Once we were right in, he buckled on a special head-collar over my bald head, and tied the end of the lead-rope tightly to a ring in the wall. Old Dick then fastened some special safety-bandages around my chubby legs, stroked my white ivory tusks and left me in the truck, with a hasty “goodbye”. Then it happened; I felt a familiar prick on my back, and as you can probably guess, I dropped to the ground – and fell fast asleep.

When I came round, I found myself alone, in the dry tall savannah grass. There was no sign of old Dick, but in the corner of my eye I spotted a large white truck rumbling off into the distance. I saw that I was in the midst of the hot, blazing yellow savannah plain. Around me, were the tall waving golden grass along the road, and here and there an acacia tree stood still against the breezes, and in the far-off distance, I heard the call of a herd of large wild elephants for me. Off I lumbered, my enormous ears flapping, and tail swishing, towards the joyous herd of grey tusked beasts awaiting my arrival.

Elephant with short trunk free again in the African savannah

Elephant with short trunk free again in the African savannah

Now, I still live here on the free open wild yellow savanna. Every elephant, just like old Dick, in my herd assists me in eating, for my trunk is still short and half-way cut off, and I have a very good story to narrate to my calves, relatives and friends, right here, on the wild jungle-range.


One response to “My Capture – A Tale of a Trunk

  1. Izhar Kazmi says:

    What a wonderful story and beautiful illustrations. Very proud of you.


    Dada and Dadi.

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