Animals: They were here first
A Pocket Play
by Kathleen Franks
Scene 1. URBAN ZOO - AFTERNOON
Young family walking through zoo... SIMONE, six year-old daughter, KAZUO, four year-old son, MIJU, mother, PETER, father.
Daddy, what are those people looking at?
I don’t know. Let’s go see.
Peter scoops Simone up in his arms and jogs ahead to the exhibit where a crowd has gathered at the fence.
Hey, wait for me!
Miju runs alongside Kazuo... arriving at exhibit to find Peter and Simone standing at fence transfixed on a group of three elephants huddled under a tree.
What are they doing? Why are they standing so close together?
It looks like they are squeezing the one in the middle!
The zookeeper, Ben, approaches the crowd...
When an elephant is sick, two will hold that one up until it is well.
How long have they been standing there?
Don’t they get tired? How do they eat?
All the elephants at our zoo take turns holding LuLu up. We’ve been feeding them under the tree and they’ve been letting us give medicine to LuLu every morning.
Is this what they do in the wild?
Yes, elephants have been known to hold a sick one up for weeks at a time. They take turns just like the elephants here. They even bring food and water for those on duty and medicinal plants as well. The whole herd slows its migration until the sick one is well.
Wow! I never knew all this...
Thanks for telling us....
Scene 2. FAMILY IN CAR - MONTHS LATER
Now I want you kids to be on your best behavior at Grammie’s house. You know she hasn’t been feeling well lately...
Peter parks the car at curb. Simone and Kazuo jump out and race across front lawn, charging through Grammie’s front door. Peter and Miju gather shopping bags from car and step inside house...
Hey, guys? Where did you go?
(voice coming from upstairs)
We’re up here with Grammie!
Peter and Miju sprint upstairs, and down the hall to bedroom doorway to see Simone and Kazuo sitting tightly either side of their grandmother in bed...
Simone! Kazuo! Get out of Grammie’s bed! It looks like you’re crushing her!
Oh, no we’re not, Mom, we’re holding Grammie up till she’s well!
To learn more about elephants and why we should do all we can to stop the horrendous slaughter of these magnificent animals that so generously have shared their lives and their planet with us from the beginning of time, please read the story posted on Save the Elephants.org about Dr. Paula Kahumbu, the courageous African woman who is putting her life on the line to save the elephants.
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