I'm on my daily routine walk.
Only solitude, no time to talk.
Though I can communicate very far,
I choose to be silent, during this hour.
My footsteps are heavy upon this place,
so I stick to the trail, with no disgrace.
For if I crush the smallest bud,
it is though I crush, my own flesh and blood.
For these trees are sacred to me,
my source of food and sanctuary.
My place of refuge in my old age,
the place where I can turn the page.
In my younger days, I pulled with might,
tore trees down, as if with spite.
But I was only doing my job.
For the barons that ruled to rob.
I'm on my way to the sea,
where I will bathe and breathe free.
To soothe my aching old bones,
dreaming of places we once called homes.
Those days are gone, but I am lucky,
they saved this place for me to be.
For without wild places like this,
I'd be gone and forever missed.
Rajan, 60 year old retired Indian
logging elephant who occasionally
swims in the Andaman Sea
Photo © Jody MacDonald
National Geographic Magazine, August 2012
Copyright 2012 © Ronald W. Hull