“Mum…” I moaned, “Could we rest for a moment? We have been walking for almost three days.”
“Soon, my dear,” Mum muttered, her voice dangerously soft, “soon”; and we lumbered along a trail supposedly leading up to a blind alley. For miles behind us, lay nothing but a wrecked land of fallen trees and engulfing flames.
We were the remaining ones. Rather, the last of the grey elephants. I couldn’t bear to envisage what would have happened if we did not leave our hometown before dawn. Right before those loathsome humans came to wreck the tranquil repose of our lives. The equines could elude hell for leather. The birds could fly away unharmed for the humans did not give a hoot about them. All they had were saws, rifles, poison darts, targeting the hefty mammals who could neither fly nor escape in the nick of time. Some were caught and taken to the urban cities; others… like Dad… were left to die. Just for their tusks. Mum claimed I was lucky to be female, for the males were never spared.
Those ignoble beings — thinking they dominate the world though our ancestors lived long before theirs. Yet, they spent the last of their days in luxury. We? In devastation.
We continued along the riverside for the next couple of hours. By dusk, I felt my legs start to crumble. I couldn’t walk any further.
“Please…” entreating Mum to take a rest by the river but to no avail, I grumbled and stalked off.
Just then, Mum made a noise so loud, it caused the entire ground to vibrate. It was a sign of impending danger. Before I knew it, Mum rushed over and pushed me down the cliff.
Everything turned into slow motion… the eyes of mine peered at Mum. As everything fast-forwarded, I landed thud after thud, thumping down the cliff like a limp rag doll, rapping against the rocks and debris down the cliff. And everything turned black.
It took me a good few minutes to recover consciousness. Peering up, I could marginally see Mum’s façade as she was taken down by a dozen men. Mum was still up there! I can’t leave her behind! I trumpeted softly towards her, as she weakly imitated. I knew she wanted me to move off. I was at a loss… what could I do? “Go,” her eyes signalling me to escape while there’s still a chance. Tears welling up in my eyes, I lifted my trunk disinclined for the last time, bidding her farewell.
The reverberating gunshot meant that Mum was gone. However, I knew I had to move on. Mum would definitely want me to survive this ordeal, to carry on the bloodline of us elephants. Descrying a tunnel a stone’s throw away, I stumbled towards it with all my might. However, I became apprehensive. It was dark…
I stood there, ruminating for a good few minutes. Was this a trap? Or has it been abandoned? The incessant sound of humans was becoming more distinct. I had to make a choice. In fact, I only had one.
It was an eerie tunnel. The repugnant stench of blood lingered around. Human blood. I could not stomach it. It just made me reminisce the joyous times I had with those of my kind, before humans robbed them away from me. I took each step precariously as I ambled across for what seemed to be an eternity. At last, the human voices were inaudible, signalling they had given up the chase. As I neared the end, what seemed to be a bright ray of rainbow.
It wasn’t formed by light rays; it was formed by a magnificent combination of…
Elephants of all colours, all sizes, and all origins crowded around. Pink, blue, orange… from Africa, Asia and all parts of the planet laid foot on the most beautiful greenery I have ever seen. Much to their stupefaction, I was perhaps the first grey elephant they had ever witnessed.
Then, one elephant resembling Mum, pulled me into an embrace around the minute body of mine. Soon, others followed. Green joined the black, grey and scarlet as all the elephants started to form serpentine circles around us. Another, my size came to embrace me, and I beamed in a way that rivalled his shade of incredibly bright yellow.
The land is filled with newly uncovered colours, as I found mine no different from everyone else’s: beautiful. And I realize that I am finally free from all desperation. My home is gone, but I have found a new one, where I can seek help when in danger. Mankind started this, and we’re to put an end to it.