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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on her last legs, or she was a killer rejected by the circus…or both. And if the elephant didn’t work out, what use would they have for the truck and the trailer? But if they were lucky enough to be able to use her even a little bit, she would earn enough money to help the company. Frank, the ranch foreman, and Ralph took off early one morning, heading for the small town in the Ozarks where Modoc was then residing. Neither one had ever driven a twenty-two-wheel truck and trailer before, but

boy. “Crazier things ’ave ’appened and worked out just fine. You just keep thinking it will, that’s the important thing.” Bram’s smile cheered Curpo; he cared for Bram very much and hated to see him upset. He spoke gently. “But…what about your mum? And, well, everybody? You can’t just leave. You ’ave responsibilities.” “Curpo,” said Bram, getting more comfortable as he talked, “I heard Mama talking. Papa left an insurance policy that will more than take care of her.” Curpo tugged on Bram’s

a comfortable area in which to function. Lying on his back, Bram watched as the sun filtered through the trees, a sparkle here, a glitter there. He heard the music Jagrat had spoken of, gentle, whispering, tinkling cymbals of the living forest. Modoc lumbered on; she knew her responsibility and never strayed off the trail or stopped to bother a bush or flower, which allowed Bram to take naps. She, too, enjoyed the music. Bram awoke with a start. Modoc had stopped! Above him was a trunk giving

and, lowering her head, pushed the wagon and its contents up the incline to the flat area above while balancing the load with her trunk. A roar of approval greeted Bram and Mo. When the cheering stopped, so had the drums. But Bram and Mo were done. They had completed the test in the time specified. Bram hoped that their work was satisfactory. Bram took Mo down to the river. She slowly walked out into the stream where it was deep, unusual for her, and there slowly lay in the cool fast water. The

imagined. People were crowding, pushing, fighting to get through. Many were falling down. Bram yelled, “Follow the elephant! Follow the elephant! She knows the way! Hold on to the blanket, even her tail.” “Please take my children!” begged a woman, followed by others. He lifted them up to Mo’s back. All huddled together. “Hurry, hurry!” A dozen more children scrambled up on Mo’s back. As she started to the exit, the billowing smoke made breathing impossible. “Hold your breath as long as you

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