Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived

Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived

Ralph Helfer

Language: English

Pages: 325

ISBN: 0060929510

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Spanning seven decades and three continents, Modoc is one of the most amazing true animal stories ever told. Raised together in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant formed a bond that would last their entire lives, and would be tested time and again; through a near-fatal shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, an apprenticeship with the legendary Mahout elephant trainers in the Indian teak forests, and their eventual rise to circus stardom in 1940s New York City. Modoc is a captivating true story of loyalty, friendship, and high adventure, to be treasured by animal lovers everywhere.

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circus ring. It was big enough to house the ring and bleachers for a large group of people. They even had a calliope brought in to simulate the feeling of the circus. Invitations were sent out near and far, to all her friends. “There is to be a birthday celebration.” The response was more than they could have imagined. Letters, telegrams, telephone calls, all poured in from around the world; some sent their love, others said, “Hope I can be there.” Many others said they would come. “Well,

attentively, breath held, in stasis, awaiting the outcome. Only the dripping sea water and the breathing of the elephants accompanied the eerie stillness. Bram went to Modoc. She wrapped her trunk around him and belly-rumbled. The other elephants came over and completed a circle with their heads touching, trunks entwined in the center. Bram had no desire to leave, never had had any intention of doing so. He regretted breaking his promise to Kelly, a lie was wrong, but it had been right for the

saw his grin, and added “Damn right!” Everyone was starting to feel hunger pangs, but above all, the worst agonizing pain, the pain of thirst. “With all this water around us, you’d think a little bit wouldn’t hurt,” one of the circus roustabouts mused. “Just try it, you’ll see,” responded an elderly midshipman. A system was established whereby people would take turns resting up top on Mo. She seemed not to mind and was content as long as she was within view of Bram. Every couple of hours,

was the push area. There were a series of head mats; three wagons of different sizes, each loaded with teak; a steep ramp, perhaps one hundred feet long; and many wheel chocks to prevent the wagon from rolling backward. In the middle was a small area consisting of a heavy tree stump, rasps, clippers, and other nail-trimming accessories. Close by was the medical supply area, where Bram would show his medical skills. A final area housed a riding howdah. There were no clocks. No music. On an

into and through Mo’s head. Blood poured from their small but lethal openings. Her body crumpled; she went down on her front knees, twisting her head back and forth in agony, roaring her fury, her trunk uncontrolled, wallowing in the dirt. Bram started to dismount but Mo regained her feet and, wobbling sideways, trumpeting, blood gushing down her trunk, she careened into the protection of the trees and collapsed. Bram and Sian were thrown into the underbrush. Mo’s scream was that of a wild entity

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