modoc: the true story of the greatest elephant that ever lived, by ralph helfer.
what a wonderful and breezy story. i can’t remember where i heard about this book — time magazine, i think. but something about it caught my eye and i picked it up. last week, after reading a couple less-than-breezy books, i chose this one off the stack. it’s the true story of a german boy and an elephant, born the same hour to an elephant-training circus family. the boy and the elephant developed a lifelong closeness — really, a friendship — that prevailed through wild adventures across the globe. if it weren’t a true story, the adventures would seem to be stretching believability a bit too much! years in germany, shipwrecked in the indian ocean, years in india, including becoming the adopted son of a regional leader, war, marriage, death, travel to the u.s., creating an unheard-of act in a circus, near-death experiences for both pachyderm and young man, a 2nd marriage to a childhood love, years of seperation (between the man and the elephant, that is), and a wonderful re-uniting and story landing in hollywood.
ok, here’s my admission. this little true story of an elephant and a boy made me cry four or five times.
a great story when you need a break from heavier reading. two thumbs up.