Whispers of an Elephant: A Silent Hope

By Christina Kim - June 03, 2018


I watch my friend standing beside me, still, motionless, staring into the distance.
I am not sure if memories of his family fill his mind yet again, or perhaps he is thinking of the faraway land he once lived, or just blankly staring into the space before him, void of any thought.
He did not budge even when a fly buzzes past, settling near his eye.
He is not annoyed by the tickle caused by the motion of the minuscule legs nor the nosy chatterbox trespassing on his temple, he did not even flick an eye when that creature moved  boldly towards his lower lid. The cheek of that creature.

My own pondering came to an abrupt end by shrieks of excitement by one, no, two, maybe three a few feet away. To be precise, they were literally, also at my feet's height.
It was nothing new, I hear that same tone of fervour almost every day, rather, almost throughout the day. They all sound the same to me.
They all make the same exclamation, they all have that same sparkle in their eyes that I no longer even see the light of the sparkle.
They all seem the same.
They ARE the same.

At the corner of my eye, I see my friend started moving and I note the presence of the bare feet at the top of his head, posited right on his forehead where a triangular piece falls on and ends at the tip of the trunk.
We all have that, I have that same piece with dangling sides and sometimes it is just so uncomfortable.
I heard someone call it a 'headpiece'.
I call it humiliation, I wish they would just remove it from our heads. We do not need these 'pieces' and I am sure we look ridiculous.
I do not understand the fascination with them, coming from all the owners of the sounds of excitement landing in our ears whenever they are at our feet.
They seem to find pleasure in our silly looks that they would constantly appear fixed on us, whipping out little objects which they hold and then making funny gestures.
Sometimes they point that object at us, sometimes they point it at themselves.
I do not know what they are doing.
I do not want to know either, I do not care.
Everything they do is absurd anyway.

It is my turn now.
I feel the weight on my head, I forgot to mention, it is not just the ridiculous piece on my forehead that I wear, just like my friend (well, actually all of us have that exact same thing on our head, that I think it makes us look identical to each other), there is also another much more uncomfortable 'thing' right on the crown of my head.
It is hard, and I can feel like my head is being pushed down.
The hardness is not my only discomfort, it is also heavy and sometimes, it just feels painful, as though my head is being hit repeatedly. There must be sharp edges, which sometimes prick at my head.
I hate that thing, but most of all, the man who sits on it, adding to the weight on my head that I feel like my head could crack open anytime.
That heat, that weight, they are just unbearable, but I no longer know the meaning of that word.
I must have removed that word because I know I have to 'bear' with it.

The man who takes his place on top of my crown, would sometimes kick near my trunk, and if I meet a nice man, he might just pat me on my face to get me to move.
The worst ones are those with a long reed, which makes a sound and even a shooting sensation on where it lands which I later learn is pain.
I do not like that reed, and I often pray that no one uses it.
I shudder when I see the reed in anyone's hand. 
I know that all I need to do is to do what they want, just move if I am told, and stop when I am instructed to.
It took me some time to understand their language, and what they want, but it saved me from the reed.

I feel the light kick now, it is my signal.
I push my foot forward, and start walking.
Today the weight is lesser, it must be the smaller beings, though I wish they would stop moving around.
It shifts the other heavier piece, something they call seat, on my back so rapidly that I feel uncomfortable.
Oh wait, it is pressing onto my back...oh, oh, ouch.
I wish they'd stop doing that.

I lug my feet forward, moving amidst the dust and the other smaller creatures rolling on the other side.
Strange, they are able to move, but their feet are unique, something I have not seen back from where I came from. They have such round legs, and they roll fast on the land.
Sometimes they are so fast, that I can only catch a glimpse.
The odd thing is, some have two, some have four like us, but they do not walk like us.
It's a strange, strange thing.


I can feel eyes on me, from everywhere around me.
I do not see these eyes, but I can feel them.
I do not know these creatures, these beings, I only know they are called human beings.
That's what we refer to them as.
They are not us, they are different.
For a start, they are our masters.
This is their land.

Well, I later learn that our land is also their land.
They are powerful beings.
They can hold control over us. 
They can make us move, or stop.
They are like Gods to us.

I have been here for a long, long time.
I am not the only one.
My friend too, along with the new friends I have come to know.
We are the same, we are all under the control of these human beings.
We have to wear these headpieces, and have two more 'chairs' placed on our bodies; one on the crowns of our heads, where our 'master' of the day sits, and the other is on the back, which is bigger and depending on the sizes of the humans we carry, it could really weigh us down, that pressure on our backs.

I do not know how long I am going to be here.
I think I was brought here when I was younger, I have lost track of time.
I long for my homeland, the place where my kind used to be, in groups, flapping our ears as we whisper among ourselves, trumpeting our joys and lamentations.
We enjoy our water drinking sessions, our times together.
No ridiculous headpieces or weird dangling things on any part of our bodies.
No one to tell us where to go, no kicks, no reed, no shouting, no weight on the head and our backs.
When can I go back to this place?
I miss my friends and families, I am not sure if they are still there, or are they like me, just somewhere else.
Wherever that may be, it must be far away, for I cannot see them nor sense them.

I want to go back to those days, carefree, and surrounded by my kind.
I do not know if they will let me, ever.
Maybe I never will.
It is just wishful thinking.
I think I am going to do this every single day, walk and carry these human beings until I can no longer do so.
When I am old and weak, I do not think they will still care for me either.
They will probably send me away to another place, where the old and sick are, or so I heard from the others.
My friend too, though I am not sure if we will go there together.

I just know that I will never see my family ever again, nor see that water we used to gather around each day.
I will not even get to go back to take walks with my herd.

I can see my friend's sorrow, I am just the same.
I do not want anything else.
Just let me go back.
Just let me be free.

It is not too much to ask for, isn't it?

I am sure the humans can deal well with the 'rolling creatures', and don't they have feet too?
The humans have two feet, and I see they walk fine, or even faster than us.
Then why must they sit on us as we walk?
What is so satisfying about hurting us?

I hope for a change someday, maybe not me, but I hope the little ones who are just born and the young ones that they will not be like us.

I am not sure if we can make that change.
I hope the humans will also change.

I just know, I do not want my future generations to be slaves or prisoners like us.
We are prisoners of freedom, slaves of control.

May this change come someday, when the humans realise and say "NO" to us being in such states...

For that change, I will bear for now, for the hope of my future generation...


*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.

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