Thursday, November 3, 2011
The Elephant Park
The Elephant Park
In beautiful, mysterious Thailand there lived an amazing creature. The elephant! For many centuries, man used elephants for work and in the end, elephants became his slaves.
In the forest of Chiang Mai, a woman named Lek is walking beside a little elephant in a green field with buffaloes grazing around them and an eagle flying above the mountains. She stops and looks at the little elephant and says, “Bo, this will be our new home. Here no man can hurt you. Here you will be safe.”
The little elephant understood her words and felt secure. He smiled and looked up at the wide sky, then he ran to a mud spot to throw cool mud on his back. The eagle heard everything and flew away to spread the word.
Bo plays. He races the buffalo, laughing, and when the moon shines in the sky, Bo falls asleep and dreams about his past.
In the big city, two men are walking by Bo’s side. His feet are chained. One of the men speaks to Bo, saying, “behave well or...” and he shows Bo a goad - a metal hook on a short stick.
Bo looks down and walks slowly, and the two men lead the way and stop by every cafe and outdoor restaurant. They pass by a cafe where a group of people are having tea. One of the men says to the tourists, “Hello, mister. Would you like to feed the elephant?” The tourists don’t want to feed Bo.
Bo and the men walk away to cafe after cafe, but no one wants to feed little Bo.
After a long night Bo and the two men go home and Bo looks at the fruit bag with hungry eyes and an empty stomach. One of the men looks at him and says, “If you want food you should have worked harder! I make no money, you eat no food.”
“Maybe people are afraid of him,” says the other man.
“You think he’s too wild?” asks the first man. “Then he must be broken!” He takes up the goad and sticks it behind Bo’s ear, right in his sensitive pink skin! Bo starts screaming!
Bo wakes up from his bad dream screaming and kind Lek is sitting next to him. She touches his head and says, “I’m here. Don’t be afraid.”
Bo looks at her smiling face and closes his eyes to sleep, but another dream comes. The two men are walking Bo again in front of the cafes and the kind Lek is there drinking coffee. They stop in front of her and the man asks, “Ma’am, do you want to feed the little elephant?”
Lek looks at little Bo with his chains on his feet and the bleeding marks they left there.
“Yes, I’d love to.” Lek holds the fruit bag and begins feeding Bo and touching his head gently. Bo touches her face with his trunk and there is a bond between them.
The food runs out and the two men walk Bo away, but Lek can’t go back to her seat and she can’t take her eyes off the little elephant. Bo is being driven away and he looks back at her with tears falling from his eyes.
Lek runs after the men and says, “Wait!”
The men stop walking and the second one asks her, “Do you want to buy more food?”
“I want to buy this cute little elephant!”
From that evening they are together. Bo is dreaming and smiling.
Rany the elephant is standing in her cage. Her belly is swollen with a child and she feels tired. Her husband touches her belly with his trunk and says, “I can’t wait to see our baby.”
“I think our baby can’t wait to get outside to the world.”
“I wish our baby could be born free in the wild.”
“What do we know about the wild,” chides Rany. “We were born here.”
“And we will die in this circus.”
“You aren’t smiling tonight.”
“You are my smile.”
The trainer comes to the elephants’ cages and says, “It’s show time!”
The elephants line up and walk to the hall. A lot of people are watching the elephants dancing.
Rany trips and almost falls beside her husband. All the people laugh at the clumsy elephant with the fat belly. The trainer doesn’t laugh, though. The clowns come in and the elephant show is over. The elephants are led to their cages. That night Rany and her husband talk.
“I’m afraid,” says Rany.
“There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“The trainer will punish me.”
“I will protect you.”
Rany smiles and worries and the trainer comes, holding a goad in his hand. Rany looks at him with fear and the trainer gets closer with evil eyes. The elephants turn their backs so as not to see what is going to happen. Then Rany’s husband walks slowly forward and stands in front of his wife, protecting her from the goad.
The trainer looks at the brave husband and says, “Fine! Both of you will get a whipping tonight.”
He starts beating the husband with the goad and Rany is crying. Her husband is getting beaten and every time the trainer tries to get around him to beat Rany her husband gets in the way until he can’t take any more pain and he sinks down. The trainer smiles evilly and begins to beat Rany and she is screaming. Her husband stands up and with his body he pushes the trainer away and steps closer to his wife.
The trainer lies on the ground, angry, and pulls a pistol from his pocket. Rany looks at the gun and then she looks at her husband and she moves fast, trying to push her husband away, but she’s not faster than the bullet. The bullet hits her husband’s head and he is falling and looking at her with eyes full of love and his trunk touches her belly. She is crying and her husband is dead in front of her. She screams.
The trainer stands and says to Rany, “next time you won’t be so clumsy,” and he leaves. Rany looks at her dead husband and makes up her mind. The other elephants draw closer and one of them says, “we’re so sorry.”
Rany steps away, giving them her back. Another elephant says, “Rany, where are you going?”
“I’m leaving,” she says, and begins to walk.
“You have no place to go!”
“My baby must be born free in the wild.”
“You’ll never survive in the wild,” the elephants protest.
“My baby will,” she said, and walks away from the circus while the elephants stare at her sadly.
The eagle is flying over the forest. Down below he spots an old elephant taking a mud bath and he flies down and lands on her back.
“Ah, the golden eagle.”
“You’ll never believe what I saw two days ago.”
“My heart desires to hear good news.”
“A woman named Lek saved a little elephant from the streets and she put him in a safe place.”
“A human woman?” the old elephant asks. She can’t believe it!
“Yes,” says the eagle.”
“I’m almost 100 years old now. I lived with one human family, generation after generation, and they’ve abused me, man after man.”
“This woman is different. She loves elephants.”
“I have no trust in mankind.”
“I will fly high and spread the good news,” says the eagle and leaps into the sky. A man comes out from a nearby house and throws a rock at Granny, calling, “Hey you old lazy elephant! It’s time for work, not mud.”
Granny steps out of the mud, the bright sun burning her skin. She walks slowly. The man hits her with his stick, hard, and says, “We don’t have the whole day, lazy elephant.”
Granny picks up logs and moves them. She works hard, and in the night her owner and his wife go inside to sleep and Granny stands outside, but she can hear every word they are saying behind the walls.
“I want to buy a truck for work,” says the man.
His wife murmurs, “we should sell the elephant and buy the truck with the money.”
“Who would buy a lazy old elephant like her?”
“We can’t afford a truck and an elephant at the same time.”
“Maybe I’ll just kill her and feed her flesh to the dogs.”
“Ah,” says his wife. “A great idea. This way we won’t have to buy food for the dogs for months.”
“See?” says the man. “Your husband is smart.” They laugh while old Granny is listening and crying silently. She thinks about her life and waits until they fall asleep. Late at night she takes her first free step in a hundred years.
Granny walks proudly, as she’s never walked before. She looks up at the distant sky to see the full moon and breathes in fresh air and says, “I’m free!”
In a beautiful little village tourists buy trinkets from the stalls of people in old-fashioned clothes and wander around taking photos. Many of the tourists are lined up at a painted sign advertising elephant rides and ox rides. An elephant, Yoyo, and a white ox work there carrying tourists.
The white ox says to Yoyo, “How is your back this morning?”
“My back still hurts,” Yoyo replies.
Two men come and lift a heavy wooden bench onto the white ox’s back and the ox says, “here we go.”
A family of three walks excitedly to the ox and jumps on his back. The father says, “go, ox!”
The white ox looks at Yoyo. “See you later.”
“Bye,” says Yoyo.
After the white ox walks away, carrying the three people on his back, the men come to Yoyo carrying a bigger, heavier wooden bench and order her, “kneel, elephant!”
Yoyo kneels and the two men put the heavy wooden bench on her back. Yoyo screams, but they don’t care and they don’t feel her pain.
One of the men looks at the tourists and says, “Come on, ride the elephant.”
Yoyo sees a tourist and his wife coming to her. She looks at them sadly and they climb on her broken back. One of the men climbs up and sits on her head to drive her.
The man on her head orders Yoyo, “stand up!”
Yoyo tries to stand but her back hurts so much. She can’t stand! Her owner beats her with his goad and Yoyo screams and staggers to her feet. She walks slowly and as she passes the second owner she sees him laughing happily and counting the money he makes from her suffering. Yoyo walks sadly away.
Family after family rides on Yoyo’s broken back and her owners make more money. At night Yoyo and the white ox get together.
“You look tired,” says Yoyo.
“A strong elephant gets tired after the rides. How about an ox?”
“How long will men treat us like that?”
“You mean like animals?”
“I mean they don’t think that we have souls,” says Yoyo. “They don’t think we can feel pain.
A black dog joins them, saying, “I heard strange news today.”
“Our owners will give us more food?” asks the white ox, swishing her tail.
“No,” says the black dog. “I heard about a woman saving elephants from the streets.”
“Is it true?” asks Yoyo.
“I’m not sure,” answers the black dog. “I heard animals talking.”
The white ox shakes his head. “Yoyo, don’t think about it.”
“Because it is a dream, and animal dreams never come true.”
Yoyo sighs. “You’re right, ox.”
“I’d better go to sleep,” says the ox. “We have lots of rides tomorrow.”
In the morning more tourists come to the village and the owners are happy. They put the wooden bench on the white ox and people climb on his back. As he walks away the owners approach Yoyo. She is kneeling, but look at her eyes! She seems like she’s up to something...
The owners lift the wooden bench to put it on her back and suddenly she stands up, knocking the owners to the ground. She looks at them with a challenge in her eyes and then runs as fast as she can. The black dog sees her running and wags his tail happily. Yoyo is running away! She passes the white ox and he says, “Go, Yoyo! May your dream come true.”
Near a big field a mother elephant is walking trunk in trunk with her baby and a man on the mother elephant is guiding the way. A black car follows them. The baby elephant looks at some flowers and says, “I want a white flower, mama.”
“Later, baby. We’re working now.”
“But the flowers are right there, just a few steps away.”
“I’ll get you one on our way back, okay?”
The baby smiles and says, “okay!”
The man on the elephant’s shoulder stops and gets off the mother elephant. The black car stops. The man is a guide, and he speaks into the car. “Sir, we’re here.”
The driver gets out of the car and opens the back door. A businessman gets out and looks at the field while the mother elephant sneaks a few steps away.
The baby elephant asks, “Mother, where are you going?”
“Just wait here,” she says and walks away.
The driver asks the guide, “Where is your elephant going?”
“I think it’s nature’s call,” says the guide. “She’ll be right back.”
The businessman looks at the big field and says, “I like the location.”
“The army used this field in the recent war,” remarks the guide.
“I see. It was a mine field.”
“Sir,” the driver says, “before we buy it we must make sure there are no mines left.”
The businessman looks at the baby elephant. “Let’s find out now.”
The baby elephant looks back at the three men looking at him and he knows they are up to something bad. The guide tries to protest, “but...” The businessman cuts him off. “I’m sorry,” says the guide.
“Make this thing walk inside the field.”
“Yes, sir,” the guide says sadly.
The guide holds a piece of fruit in his hand and when the baby elephant is about to eat it he throws the fruit in the middle of the minefield.
The baby elephant stands still, but the guide talks to him and says, “Go and eat your fruit.” The baby elephant walks into the mine field. Step after step, nothing happens, and the businessman is smiling.
The mother elephant is walking back to them holding a white flower in her mouth happily. While she’s getting closer the baby is getting closer to the fruit. Then the baby elephant steps on a mine. He explodes in front of his mother’s eyes and his little body is shattered everywhere. The white flower falls down from the mother’s trunk and turns red.
The mother elephant is screaming and crying. She looks at the three men with sad anger and raises her front legs. They scream in fear. She can’t kill them, though. Her goodness stops her from becoming a merciless elephant. She puts her legs down on the black car, crushing it, then walks away slowly.
It is evening deep in the forest. Four hunters - big tough men - are sitting around the fire and talking about their plan. The first man asks, “How much will we get for this job?”
“He’s offering a lot of money,” says a second man.
“Real money at last,” says a third.
“Our job isn’t easy. Don’t forget elephants are dangerous and unpredictable.”
“So are we.”
The sun rises and shines on the valley. The river is shining under the rays of the sun and the elephant, Jo, is walking with his lover, Mai.
Mai looks at Jo’s big tusks and says, “I love your tusks.”
“Because my tusks are big?” he asks, smiling.
“They are big and white and show how strong you are.”
“Girls love my tusks.”
A few meters away the hunters are walking slowly and quietly. Jo smells the leaves and says, with fear, “hunters!”
“It can’t be,” says Mai. “There are no hunters in our valley.”
“It’s the same smell I smelt years ago when the hunters came and took my parents away from me.”
“I’m afraid, Jo.”
“Go and hide. I’ll distract them.”
“Come back to me safe, okay?”
“You have to go now,” says Jo.
Mai walks away quietly. She takes the right turn and the brave Jo shows himself to the hunters. The first hunter says, “I see an elephant.”
Jo runs away and takes the left turn. The hunters follow him. The second hunter shoots Jo with a sleeping drug but Jo keeps running, trying to save Mai. The hunter shoots him again and again but Jo still runs. He looks back at the hunters and as he turns his head he hits a big tree. The hunters corner him and chain him to the tree.
“We need more shots to make him sleep,” says the first man.
“We’re out of the drug.”
“What?” asks the first man angrily.
“This stupid elephant is chained to a big tree. He can’t hurt us.”
One of the men raises his saw and says, “Fun time...” The four of them begin sawing Jo’s tusks. He cries and the pain makes him scream. From far between the trees Mai was watching sadly. She almost came closer, but when he saw her he screamed louder.
“Mai, please go away now!”
She cries, and she doesn’t want to leave Jo. He screams again. “Go!”
Mai leaves. Jo sees her walk away and cries more while the hunters are sawing his tusks.
The hunters take Joe’s tusks and the first hunter says, “Let’s go.”
“We’ll leave the elephant chained like that?”
“It’s better for us.”
The hunters carry the big tusks and walk away, leaving the green valley and leaving Jo chained to the big tree. Jo stops screaming but his tears don’t stop falling on his face.
Mai gets closer, looking around her, fearing the hunters. She stops in front of Jo and says, “Jo.”
Jo opens his eyes and says, “Go away.”
“I’ll try to break the chains, okay?”
“Go away. I don’t want you to see me like this.”
Mai cries and says, “Jo!”
“I lost the thing you loved about me. I don’t have tusks anymore.”
Mai touches his body with her trunk and says, “I did love your tusks, but I love you more and I’m not leaving without you.” She puts her trunk between the chains and the tree and pulls away from the tree. She feels pain, but she doesn’t stop until the chains break.
“Now we have to get you help,” she says.
“Who will help?”
“There’s a place I heard the frog in the river talking about and it’s like heaven for the elephants.”
“This valley is my heaven.”
“A heaven we must leave now to save your life.”
Jo and Mai walk slowly out of the valley to find the new heaven.
The elephant Momi and the goat Dudu are best friends. Every dawn they walk together and they work at the same farm and in the evening after work they get together and talk about their day. This evening after the farm owners go to bed all the animals get together, talking and having fun.
The duck says, “I wish I was human.”
“I love being an elephant,” says Momi.
Dudu asks the duck, “Why do you want to be human?”
“To treat animals right and be kind to them.”
“If I was a man,” says the pig, “I would give a lot of food to the pigs.”
Dudu adds, “If I was a man I would never milk the goats with rough hands. I would milk them gently.”
“If I was a man,” quacks the duck, “I would never shoot ducks for fun and never kill them.”
“I don’t want to be a man,” says Momi. “I have everything I need around me. I have the best friends in the world.”
The duck cries, “I love you guys!”
“Why are you crying, Ducky?”
“The humans are having dinner tomorrow and I think I’m next.”
All of them feel sad. Dudu smiles and says, “Ducky, don’t worry about that. Tomorrow is still far away. Go to sleep now.”
“They might have me for dinner,” mopes the pig.
“You should go have some rest too,” says Momi.
“See you tomorrow.”
After the pig and the duck leave, Dudu says, “We haven’t played in a long time now.”
“Yes, we always work. We forgot how to play.”
“Let’s refresh your memory,” says Dudu and begins playing with Momi. Momi kneels and Dudu gets on her back. They play and have fun until sunrise.
Dudu looks at the sun and says sadly, “I love seeing sunrise.”
“Sometimes I feel the sun is looking at us and smiling.”
“Every sunrise is like a new life for us,” she says sadly.
“I hear sadness in your voice.”
Dudu smiles and says, “Tomorrow you come back here to this hill and watch sunrise and I hope the sun smiles for you.”
“We’ll come together.”
“Goodbye, my dear friend.”
“It’s milking time.”
“Yes.” Dudu looks at her best friend as if she is saying farewell and Momi smiles for her friend, then she goes to work.
In the evening Momi walks back to the farm and she sees the cooking fire outdoors. She feels sad, knowing one of her friends is dead. Momi sees the duck and the pig crying and she knows who is missing. She keeps walking forward to the dinner to see people around the fire. Dudu is on the fire, dead, and the humans are eating her.
Momi looks at her best friend being grilled and she can’t hold back her tears. She cries. One of the people sees her crying. He laughs and says, “We’re eating your friend. You should be happy we aren’t eating you!”
Momi cries more, and another man says to her, “You wish you didn’t see that, right?” He takes a burning stick from the fire. “Do you know what this is? It’s fire.” Suddenly he puts the stick on Momi’s eyes. Momi has lost her best friend and her eyesight, too. She can’t see anything. She screams, and the man puts another burning stick on her body. She pushes him with her body and runs blindly to the hills.
It’s morning on a hillside, and it’s raining. Lolo the elephant has to move logs from the ground up the hill. The male workers put logs on her back and she has to climb up to the summit of the hill and put logs there.
The rain makes the hill slippery. She climbs carefully, feeling cold and tired. If she stops for one second the worker on her back whips her and she moves again.
She makes it twenty times to the summit. The worker gets off her back and puts more logs on top of the other logs. She’s standing there on the summit looking down at the remaining logs when suddenly an earthquake shakes the hill. While Lolo struggles to keep her footing the pyramid of logs slides and falls, rolling. The rolling logs hit the back legs of the elephant and she falls from the hill, the heavy logs covering her legs.
Lolo tries to stand, but she fails and falls down. Her back legs are broken badly. She looks at the workers to help her and stop her pain.
The foreman orders the workers, “Bring another elephant to move the logs.”
“How about this elephant?”
“I don’t have a place for a broken elephant. Let’s go.”
The workers leave Lolo to suffer to death at the bottom of the hill. She is alone under the rain. She cries and screams but no one hears her.
Walking through the trees nearby, Momi is wandering blind. She tries to see, but it’s only black. “My eyes,” she cries. “Why can’t I see anything?”
Lolo shouts, “Someone help me please!”
Momi hears Lolo and she walks out of the trees. “I hear you, crying one!”
Lolo looks at Momi and says, “Help me stand up.”
“I’m blind. I can’t help you.”
“Please,” begs Lolo. “Don’t leave me here to be eaten by tigers.”
Momi gets closer to Lolo and leans down. She puts her head under Lolo and Lolo tries to raise her upper body. Slowly, they stand together.
“We will try to walk now,” says Momi.
Momi walks slowly, supporting Lolo with her back. Lolo screams, “My legs!”
“Please be strong until I get you out of here.”
That’s how Momi and Lolo walk. Lolo sees the Road, and Momi walks it.
At the elephant farm a little baby elephant is playing. His mother comes and calls to him. “My prince, it’s food time.”
“Mama, I’m not hungry. I want to play.”
“You have to eat to be strong and grow up fast.”
Prince walks to his mother and sucks on her breast. Mama is smiling, and after breakfast they play together.
A trainer from the circus comes to the farm and talks to the owner. “I want to buy a baby elephant,” he says.
“you’re lucky, sir. We have a baby elephant in the farm.”
The trainer looks at Prince and his mother. The mama elephant looks at the man and she knows he wants to take her Prince away from her.
The trainer and the farm owner get close, and the trainer touches the baby elephant, checking him out.
“What are they doing, Mama?” says Prince.
“They want to take you away from me.”
“I don’t want to be away from you, Mama.”
“This little elephant is a good age,” says the farm owner. “You can train him and he’ll be a star in your circus.”
“I’ll buy him,” says the trainer.
The trainer puts his hand on the baby elephant and says, “Let’s go.”
Prince is looking at his mama with tears in his small eyes and Mama is crying too. The trainer kicks Prince and says “I said let’s go!”
Prince walks tow steps from his mama and looks back and says, “Mama, don’t let them take me!”
“I’m sorry, baby!”
He turns and runs back to his mama, holding her and taking shelter from the men. The trainer takes his whip and whips Prince. The little baby screams “Mama!”
Mama Elephant couldn’t see this any more. She stands in front of her son, defending him. The farm owner and the trainer whip her at the same time. She looks at her son and says, “Run away now. Run away while you can.”
“I want to stay here with you!”
Mama Elephant pushes her son away and says, “I don’t want you to be here! I want you to be free!”
Prince runs. The trainer sees him and says, “The stupid elephant is running away!” He tries to follow Prince, but Mama Elephant stands in front of him. He whips her, and the farm owner looses his dogs on her. She looks at the wild dogs and says, “They want to part me and my baby!”
“I’m sorry,” says one of the dogs. “We have to do this or he’ll kill us.” They attack Mama Elephant, biting and scratching her body until she falls down and her body is bleeding. The farm owner orders his dogs, “Now go hunt the little elephant!”
The dogs run after Prince, smelling the trees and bushes. Prince hears their scary loud barking. He runs as fast as he can and the dogs still hunt him. He sees a river and swims across it, and the dogs lose his trace.
Prince is alone in the big forest. He doesn’t eat or drink. He doesn’t know how to survive alone. Days go by and Mama Elephant is locked in the farm. She stops eating and drinking, and the only thing she is thinking about is her baby. She gets weaker and weaker and dies a few days after she loses her baby.
While Prince is still in the forest on a rainy evening he hears thunder and gets scared. He sits under a big tree and covers his eyes, crying for his mama. “Mama, where are you? Mama, I need you.”
At that moment, the mother elephant who lost her son in a minefield is walking sadly nearby and she hears the crying baby. She rushes to the sound and finds the big tree and the baby elephant, cold and covering his eyes under the tree. She touches him with her trunk and asks, “Why are you crying, my prince?”
“I lost my mama.”
She hugs him and says sadly, “I lost my baby, too.”
“I’m hungry,” he says, touching her.
“I think I have some milk left.”
Prince sucks her breast, drinking her milk, and she feels that he is her son and she smiles after long days of crying.
In the forest of Chiang Mai Granny is walking toward her freedom. She sees Rany lying on the ground. She asks, “Are you alright, dear?”
“Yes,” says Rany, “But I think I will give birth soon.”
“What happy news!”
Rany gets to her feet and says, “I must keep going.”
“Are you going to meet your husband?” asks Granny.
“I’m going to a new land for elephants. I believe my baby will be safe there.”
“It’s where I’m going, too.”
Granny and the pregnant Rany walk together, and after a day of walking they meet Yoyo on the road. Yoyo’s back hurts. She stops walking, looking up at the burning sun, and she is about to fall when she hears Granny’s voice behind her saying, “Don’t fall down.”
Granny supports Yoyo with her body. Yoyo says “My back is broken. I can’t walk any more.”
“We will help you walk,” says Rany.
Granny and Rany support Yoyo, side by side. The sun burns them, but they don’t stop walking or helping each other.
Momi is also walking in the forest, supporting Lolo with her back. Momi says to Lolo, “I hear some elephants nearby.”
Lolo looks around. “I don’t see them.”
Momi calls out, “Are there any elephants around?”
From far away they hear an answer. “Yes!”
“Let’s join the herd,” says Momi.
“There’s a tree in front of you. Be careful.”
Momi and Lolo cross the forest to find the herd. Lolo looks at Granny and Rany and Yoyo and says, “Is this your herd? Only three?”
“We are friends, dear,” says Grany.
“My friend’s legs are broken,” says Momi. “Can you help us?”
“We’re going somewhere we can find help.”
“Please join us,” Rany says.
Momi and Lolo walk with them to the riverbank. The elephants stop for water and while they’re drinking they see Mai on the other side of the river. Mai sucks up a lot of water, then she walks to the trees and sprays water on Jo’s body with her trunk.
Granny asks Mai, “Do you need help?”
Mai answers, “My boyfriend is very sick.”
Grany spoke to her followers and said, “We have to go and check on him.”
They cross the river to Mai and Jo. Granny looks at Jo’s wound and says, “It’s infected.”
With fear, Mai asks, “Will he die?”
“Mai,” says Jo, “Don’t cry. I’ll face my time bravely.”
“Jo, you will not die. Come, elephants,” says Granny. “We have to hurry to save Jo.”
Mai helps Jo stand up and they walk again with no stop. In the evening they finally take a rest and from the bushes Mother Elephant and Prince walk out, trunk in trunk, as a mother and son.
The mother looks at the group and asks, “Can my son and I join you?”
“You are most welcome to join,” says Granny.
All of them begin their walk again and walk until dawn. Deep in the forest the kind Lek is hanging a sign. Lek holds a hammer and Bo holds the nails, handing them to her with his trunk.
Lek hangs a sign, “Elephant Nature Park,” happily. Suddenly, Lek and Bo hear heavy steps coming to the park. Lek looks at the forest and the elephants come to her. Granny says to her friends, “We’re here!”
“Jo,” says Mai, “You’re saved!”
Lek and Bo walk to the elephants. Lek touches each one of them with love and tenderness. It’s exactly what they need. Lek says, “Welcome to your new home.”
Granny looks at her friends and says, “Today elephants are free!”
All the elephants raise their trunks happily. The sun starts to rise over the park.
“Momi,” says Lolo, “It’s the sunrise!”
Momi doesn’t see the sun, but she feels its warmth and says, “Dudu, I can see your smile.”
The black dog comes to the elephant park looking for his old friend. Yoyo sees him first and says, “Black Dog!”
“Yoyo, I’m happy to see you here.”
“Where is the white ox?”
The black dog answers sadly, “His back couldn’t carry any more people and the owner shot him dead.”
Yoyo looks at the sky and said, “White Ox, may your wishes come true wherever you are.”
Lek touches Jo and put some ointment on his tusks and says, “The doctors will come and take good care of you all.”
Rany is in labor. She screams, and Lek touches her and says, “Bring your baby to our new world.” Rany gives birth to a baby boy, and all her friends are around her. Granny says, “You have a beautiful boy. What will you name him?”
Rany touches her newborn baby and says, “Hope. His name has to be Hope.”
Bo and Prince become best friends. Jo is saved from his infection and marries Mai. The doctor can’t help Momi to see again. Lolo’s legs don’t heal well. She limps when she walks. Yoyo’s back is getting better. Prince found a mother and Mother Elephant found a son. The golden eagle flies above the park.
Elephant Nature Park is a happy place full of sad memories, but Lek’s love and the volunteers’ help are making a better world for the elephants, dogs, and oxen. Love is healing the deep wounds in the elephants and erasing the bad memories some bad men left in their minds. The elephants are smart and sensitive animals. They are able to love and they need to be loved. Elephants are in danger.
A lot of elephants are suffering from violence and mistreatment at the hands of their owners. Elephants still work giving rides.