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The Elephant

A time ago in Knysna
When gravel roads were forest path
And tree-crawlers crept up telephone poles
Before man began to break and build
There roamed a beast – majestic, bold
The elephant

But man brought man and brick and stone
And holstered gun and shouldered rifle
The beast was in mans scheming path
The thick gray hide and bright white ivory
So aiming right and firing true, man killed them all
The elephant

What if the gun had not shot true?
What if the man had not arrived?
What would there be of Knysna?
No town, no lights, no home of stone
But lush green foliage and of course,
The elephant

But years thereafter, hidden well
The furtive bush revealed
The myth man thought a myth – no more!
The proof was clear as day
Among the ferns, beneath the leaves, still living here:
The elephant

The thick gray hide and ivory tusks
Are hidden well in Knysna bush
It knows that man's no friend to it
And therefore lives in secret
But though it hides in secret life, it's Knysna's own;
The elephant

(Back to 2102 Young Writers Competition Winners)




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