This book, The Elephant Whisperer, kept me on the edge of my seat the entire two days it took me to finish it.
Considering that I was reading it on my cell phone the whole time because my Kindle needs to be emptied before I can load any more books, it’s amazing that I even stuck it out. Out of forty-two chapters, there wasn’t a single dud. I read it because I was intrigued when someone wrote that when Lawrence Anthony died, the elephants mourned.
We all have problems and obstacles when we follow our dreams, but this man had more than most. He bought a 5,000 acre game reserve in Zululand, South Africa called Thula Thula. He had the ability to get, not only wild elephants to listen to him, but also local police, local political leaders including tribal leaders from warring tribes. He conquered poaching problems, floods, and built a thriving lodge in the midst of this reserve full of all kinds of wild animals, the largest being the elephants.
These desperate, wild elephants uprooted trees weighing several tons and crashed through electric fencing to escape the reserve and run free in towns and countryside where EVERYONE from poachers to police wanted to shoot them. The logistics of capturing, transporting and keeping animals of this strength and determination were mind-boggling. His story of training and taming them without domesticating them kept me transfixed and absorbed for about two days.
One of the major characteristics that comes out about Lawrence Anthony besides his ability to work hard in horrible circumstances, is his humility. He credited everyone for the wonderful ways they contributed to his project, and in so doing inspired immense loyalty. Possibly just as amazing was his companion, Franςoise. She combatted snakes, and nursed a dying 280 pound baby elephant in her spare bedroom – well the run of the house, actually. She ran the lodge, made and served gourmet French cuisine, and finally after living with the man who didn’t mind having elephant slobber all over his body for 15 years planned and executed their surprise wedding.
Elephants and the Common Core
Remembering that the Common Core is all about non-fiction, and integrating science, social studies, and technology, this book will do it all – especially if students are reading it on their iPhones as I was. In spite of it’s length this is an engaging read for upper elementary students and above. It is also a great one to engage male readers, who statistically respond both to animals and adventure.
Anthony’s story of survival, love, adventure, drama, and caring for both animals, the environment and culture of the people will inspire and challenge everyone to meet their own challenges with courage and innovation.
The perfect blog to feature today is one of another adventurer, Amy at shareandconnect. I have heaped awards on Amy’s shoulders, and I have enjoyed her company, her uplifting comments on my blog for many months, but tonight I spent time just thumbing through her blog, reading the back pages, and the more I read, the more I liked. This wonder woman has been everywhere. If it has a trail, she climbed it. If it’s beautiful, she’s photographed it.
Here’s a peek. You are going to want to set aside some time and just go browse in her museum of photos.
You can thank me later because you’ll be richer for it! Enjoy Share and Connect, you’ll be glad you connected. :) Marsha