Friday, November 26, 2010

Elephant Song (poem)

Father Elephant:
I am the real king of the jungle:
The lion is a pretender to the throne
And the tiger is only boss when I’m not around.
Weighing in at six tones, I have no equal –
If I were an African mountain, I’d be Kilimanjaro.
But I’d like to correct the alarming falsehood
That I’m little more than a stampeding beast.
Finding houses and farms on ancient migration routes
Is what make my anger rise like yeast
And my attempt to pass through is often misunderstood.

Mother Elephant:
A woman’s work is never done!
Unlike the bulls, which live outside the herd,
I have to protect the entire family from harm
Which, believe me, is easier said than done.
With sounds ranging from rumblings to mighty roars,
I communicate with my herd or scare predators.
I considered shedding some weight the Dr.Atkins way
But with one nursing calf and another on the way
I’m back to eating two hundred kilos of food per day.
The extra pounds will come in handy
If a gang of poachers comes my way.

Baby Elephant:
Gee, I wish we go back to the lake soon.
Squirting water through the trunk is marvelous fun
As, indeed, is a nice, long, wallow in clay or mud
But the grownups follow a strict pattern
And as soon as I start enjoying myself , it’s time to return
To feeding or traveling or salt-mining or whatever.
I guess I’ll be just as fussy when much bigger,
With a powerful trunk and long curved tusks, like dad’s,
And then, like him, I can leave the security of the herd.
Is that a pride of lions? I’d better hide under mum’s belly!

(c) Alex N Nderitu

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