About the Author

The author lives in Harare, Zimbabwe and is blessed with three
children in their thirties and forties, and four grandchildren. Two
of her children were born in Zimbabwe and Christopher in
London. Janet calls Zimbabwe home and it was and is far
removed from England where she was born in Halifax in
Yorkshire. Her parents came to Northern Rhodesia (Now Zambia)
in the mid-fifties and later made their home in Southern Rhodesia
(now Zimbabwe).

Janet became involved in conservation in the 90’s and during the
horrendous drought in Zimbabwe and when conservationists were
desperate to translocate herds of elephant. Janet was asked to
assist with fund raising and thus began her involvement with these
gentle giants. It is a world far removed from her city and towns
and England, but it has been her life’s dream to pass on to the
young ones, some of whom have never seen an elephant, the
reality of our wildlife and to make what is real, magic. The author
wanted to show them a little of what she has learned. The people
are wonderful and despite all, they have survived sometimes only
with a prayer for tomorrow.






Dedication


To my children Caroline, Anthony and Christopher.
To those who believed in me when I sometimes lost faith in
myself.
To the wonderful people of Zimbabwe who shared their
smiles as well as their burdens over to many difficult times,
who believed in their God for His miracles.






















Copyright © Janet Kaschula

The right of Janet Kaschula to be identified as author of this work
has been asserted by her in accordance with section 77 and 78 of
the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the
publishers.

Any person who commits any unauthorized act in relation to this
publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims
for damages.

A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British
Library.


ISBN 978 184963 715 2


www.austinmacauley.com

First Published (2014)
Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd.
25 Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London
E14 5LB








Printed and bound in Great Britain





Acknowledgments


Webster Gutsa my respected friend who assisted so ably
with my story.
Barbara Britz for her long hours in editing and re-editing.
Bill Sykes for assisting with the initial editing and who
kindly took away all my exclamation marks!
Wade Penny for his amazing talented input assisted by
Elmie Pieters.
Sue Burr for the design and artwork of ‘Rosie’.
Tamryn Middleton for the character illustrations of Rosie’s
friends.
Ross Conlon who told me in my frustration, “All in God’s
Timing.”
To those who gave their encouragement and support and for
helping to make a dream come true – be it only a short story
for children, they assisted so much in making it happen.
To each one, my heartfelt thanks.









The Matriarch’s Daughter


Once upon a bush-time on the banks of the mighty Zambezi
River in Central Africa there lived a family – an elephant
family. Unlike the rest of the world they did not rush from
dawn to dusk. Here in the Great Zambezi Valley time seemed
to stand still as the days flowed one into another. It was like
heaven on earth. Here the elephant families lived in peace and
harmony with all God’s creatures. The green acacia forests and
the ancient baobab trees were an exciting playground and
nursery for the new babies.
On this sunny African day in our story, the Matriarch, who
was the leader of the herd and the queen of wisdom and
knowledge, had brought her herd to bathe, drink and splash in
the cool flowing river. The baby elephants were learning to
swim. Their tiny trunks flopped around as the mothers of the
herd gently guided them from danger and deep water.
“Little one, stay with the family!” the Matriarch rumbled
her concern as her little daughter splashed in the water.
“Of course, Mama,” squealed the little elephant. “But look,
I can swim!”
She was a brave young elephant but sometimes she was
naughty and she had to be watched carefully. She made the
family laugh with her antics and this is why they loved her so.
She was special – she was the Matriarch’s daughter.
Sometimes it was quite a job for her mother to look after
her little daughter because she was so full of life and had
bundles of energy. The Matriarch needed to take special care
of her. The young one had passed her swimming lessons and
she wanted to wander off into the forest.
“Mama, please can I leave the water and go into the
forest?” she asked her mother.

“Yes, you can, but don’t go too far,” the Matriarch
answered as she watched the rest of the babies. “It will be dark
soon. You need to be careful.”
“I promise I will,” she replied as she left the water to
wander into the forest. Today she was even more excited than
usual because she was waiting to see her friend Circus, the
Painted Hunting Dog.
Circus was her very best friend and always kept his word,
so she wondered where he could be. Had he come? Had she
missed him in all the excitement of splashing and playing with
the others in the river? She was rubbing her newly washed skin
on the rough bark of a nearby sausage tree and she had been
feeding on the bright green leaves of the mopani tree. They
were tender and sweet and were the new leaves of the season.
She was listening intently to the sounds of the forest. Then
came a voice she knew so well. It was Circus. He was there.
“Psst! Psst!” he called. He had followed the herd for some
time hoping to talk to her.
“Circus, are you there?”
“Whaa! Whaa!” he answered, springing from the shadows
where she had not seen him hiding.
“You are here!” she trumpeted delightedly.
Circus’ body was alive with excitement and he danced
around as the little elephant squealed her joy and happiness.
How thrilled they were to see each other.
“Of course it is I,” he barked. “Who else could it be? Told
you I’d be here, didn’t I?” Circus had watched her coming and
his tail was wagging furiously in excitement as he began to
whirl about her, far too fast for her to catch him. Finally he
flopped onto the ground, showing his silky tummy. “Well, girl,
how have you been?”
“I’ve been good – well, kind of.”
“Did you miss me?” Circus asked with a grin.
The little elephant giggled, then pushed him with her
trunk. “You’re such a chatterbox, Circus! I suppose I did,” she
confessed.

“Now, girl, I am quite serious. I have found the most
awesome secret place and we have no time to waste. Come,
follow me.”
“Oh, I don’t know, Circus.” The little elephant shuffled
from foot to foot, indecisively glancing back at her bathing
herd. How many times had her mother asked her not to
wander? “We have to get back before its dark or I am in big
trouble. Maybe we can see it tomorrow?”
“Chicken!” Circus growled playfully. “Come on, let’s go
before anyone comes!”
Chicken? Chicken! Me a chicken? I’m certainly not! I’m
an elephant and not just any elephant. I’m the Matriarch’s
daughter, she thought to herself. But she could not resist a dare
and Circus knew it.
Circus had always looked after her and he was a really
cool dog, so as quietly as a baby elephant could, she tiptoed
away from the banks of the river and followed him up and up
and up his mountain. Not only was he handsome with his
chocolate and gold dappled coat but he was certainly the
cleverest friend she could wish to have. They made their way
up the mountain as Circus began to sing his favourite song.
“No need to fear when Circus is here.”
“I’ll show you the whole world,” he boasted as he trotted
through the forest. “Come on and hurry up! You are not
scared, are you?”
“Scared of what?” she thought to herself. “Only old croc’s
dinnertimes!”
Circus’ special place was way up in the mountain, and as
they made their way upwards the forest suddenly opened up in
front of them. They stood there in wonder. The view was
breathtaking. They could look over the whole valley. How
lucky she was to have such a special friend in Circus.
“Look! Look, Circus, there is the river!” She pointed with
her little trunk way down to the valley. She could see the river
making its way to the faraway ocean. The hippos were
cavorting, diving into the deep water and coming up on the
other side of the river. She could even see the round huts

which made up the human village – so different from the
natural world and yet part of it too.
“No other place like it anywhere. Look, even birds are
flying below us and you can almost touch the sky.” Circus was
very pleased with himself as he rubbed himself fondly on the
little elephant’s front leg, growling proudly. “I told you it was
awesome. But you wouldn’t believe me.”
“I could stay here forever,” she sighed. “What a clever dog
you are!”
“Can’t go by looks alone,” Circus casually remarked. He
was so proud of himself.
Suddenly their peaceful world was shattered. Loud
popping sounds stunned Circus into silence. It was a rude
sound, an angry sound, and it did not belong to the Valley.
Shock held the two friends still for a moment and then the
growling chill in their hearts convinced them that something
was terribly wrong. The little elephant’s eyes were full of
horror as she looked at Circus. She took off and began to race
down the mountain path. Circus was huffing and puffing,
trying desperately to jump over the broken trees flattened by
his friend’s huge feet.
“Wait for me!” He barked as he dodged the plants and
boulders. “Wait! It must be on the other side of the river.” His
calls were ignored as she raced down the mountain. She hardly
heard him in her panic. Nothing stopped her. She was racing
towards the elephant feeding ground and Circus could only
follow.
The moon was beginning to shine and there was a chilling
silence. Only the broken branches of trees and rolling stones
could be heard echoing in the valley. How on earth would she
answer to her mother?






Isazi


Peter had made his way down to the valley from his mountain
refuge. His missionary parents had given him that name based
on the Bible story of Peter, the Rock of Ages, but the families
of the Tonga people called him Isazi, The Wise One. It was a
fine, fitting name indeed! Although he was over seventy years
of age, his face was almost free of wrinkles and his skin was a
shiny bluish black. His beard and moustache was splashed
with white and he was a handsome man. He looked young for
his many years.
“Isazi, the Wise One, is here!” the villagers called one to
another. “The baptism will be truly blessed!”
In the Zambezi Valley Isazi was unshakable and strong in
his belief in the wonders of his Creator. Although he seemed to
be a part of the people, he was separated from them by the
amazing miracles he seemed to perform.
Isazi loved the village people and they loved him too. He
always had a beaming smile and all the time in the world for
everyone. The dogs and chickens rallied around him, the
children danced to welcome him and if the pots and pans had
legs, they would have joined in too! The wild animals were not
afraid of him and he loved them all. They would allow him to
come close to heal them – they had no fear of the old man.
Isazi carried happiness on his shoulders and it was infectious.
Each day of his life he reminded everyone of whom they
should thank for the blessings of life.
Today had been a special celebration because the
womenfolk had gowned themselves in white robes and had
been baptized in the Great Zambezi River. It was another
African summer’s day to rejoice in song and the beating of
drums.
Earlier in the afternoon Isazi had been busy at his village
bush pharmacy by people from near and far seeking healing

from his herbal remedies: from toothaches, tummy aches or
backaches to measles and chickenpox. All came to him for his
healing potions. In most cases, his herbs and potions from the
forest did the trick and the people trusted him. Even tiny
babies stopped their crying when they looked into his gentle,
deep, dark brown eyes. If he could not help them he was wise
enough to send his patients to the medical doctors in the local
hospital so that they could do their part in helping to heal their
sick bodies and broken bones.
It was now the cool of the evening and Isazi was in the
forest collecting his herbal remedies. He touched the ancient
baobab tree and spoke to it. “You are well, old grandfather,”
he greeted the old tree as he touched the marks left on his trunk
made by foraging elephants. Isazi smiled softly to himself as
he thought of his dear friend the Matriarch of the herd. She
was his favourite elephant and he hoped to see her again.
Could she be nearby, he wondered? How lovely it would be to
meet her again. He had not seen her for a while. Then he
nodded towards the sausage tree and spoke to it too. These
trees were his friends. They helped him to do his work. “What
a wonderful healer of snake bites you are!” he exclaimed.
Isazi had been healer, spiritual leader and general caretaker
to the Valley for many years and was always accompanied by
a strange forest helper, a hornbill called Bird. Bird had a strong
beak and his job was to collect all the inaccessible berries and
leaves from the highest branches of the trees. But he had one
shortcoming – he was a practical joker. Once, he disturbed a
nest of hornets just to see Isazi run. This had made the old man
laugh. It was good exercise for Isazi and he believed this kept
him young.
On this occasion, Bird suddenly fell from high up in the
branches of a Mopani tree to the forest floor. Isazi thought he
had been shot because he heard the sound of gunfire very close
by. He rushed to Bird in panic. This time the fallen hornbill
was not joking, Isazi told himself as he looked down at his
friend.
“Bird, Bird! Great Spirits of my fathers. You’ve been
shot!”

As Isazi bent to pick him up, Bird opened one big,
astonished yellow eye and winked. He was joking!
“Who fired those shots?” Isazi whispered fearfully. “What
have they done?” He placed Bird in his coat for protection.
Suddenly he felt sick in spirit. He knew all about the horror of
war and the senseless, cruel damage of guns. Then he smelled
the scent of blood.
“Danger to the valley. Isazi beware!” an eagle cried as it
flew overhead. “Beware!”
“We must find out what’s happened, little friend.” Isazi
spoke quietly as he gently stroked Bird. His heart was heavy.
He could hear laughter and loud voices moving away. A band
of men were leaving. There was a sound of a motor vehicle
heading for the village. Bird struggled out of Isazi’s coat and
perched on his shoulder. His wings were ready for flight
should the need arise. He too knew that there was terrible
danger. Then, with a squawk, he rose on his heavy painted
wings to seek shelter in the highest branches of a huge acacia
tree.
Isazi stumbled as he entered the clearing in the forest and
he was heartbroken by what he saw. His dearest Matriarch and
her family herd had been killed. With an anguished shout he
searched for life in the silent bodies but he knew there was no
hope in saving them. To help, to heal, that was the way of
Nature – Isazi’s way – but now he could do nothing for them.
He knelt by a bush, an old and broken figure, but through his
pain and grief he heard a persistent voice. It was soft and weak
but he recognized it well. It sounded like the Matriarch.
“Isazi, Isazi,” whispered the voice. “Isazi, help me, help
me ‘Sazi.”
It was her. It was his dearest friend the Matriarch. Blood
was frothing from her trunk. She was dying. Isazi knelt beside
her huge body.
“Why? Why, Great Spirits? Why?” The sight of his
beloved elephants killed for their greatest beauty, their tusks,
was tearing him apart. Was there no price too high to pay for
the greed of men? Tears began to flow down his old cheeks.
“Who did this?” he cried out.

The Matriarch raised her trunk and weakly stroked Isazi’s
face.
“Man will always long for our tusks. Our greatest strength
is also our greatest weakness. Oh so much hurt and suffering,”
she sighed. “Please, wise friend, look after her... my baby.
Protect her. Teach her the ways of creation, the ways of
Nature. I fear my time is short.” She made a huge effort to
raise her broken trunk to test the wind. There was great
concern in her eyes. “My baby…” she cried out.
“I promise I will find her, my friend, but I will do more! I
will avenge you all! I will…”
The Matriarch’s wounded trunk gripped him as firmly as
she could.
“No more violence and hate, my friend. They did not know
how much harm they were doing to us. They don’t know us
like you do. To them we are only dumb animals. We have to
forgive them. They did not know the way of Nature and our
Creator but they may learn. Please promise to protect my baby.
I am weak and tired, old friend, and I feel I am leaving.”
Although anger and revenge lay deep in his heart, Isazi
promised her he would grant her last dying wish. “As hard as it
may be, my dearest Matriarch, I will not take revenge on these
cruel men. I will grant you your wish. There will be no more
killing and hate. The Creator knows I will try not to hate.”
Isazi patted the elephant’s tear stained cheek. “With His help I
shall find your baby.” Her trunk let go and she sighed an
elephant sigh.
“How I love her. She is a beautiful child, Isazi. She is a
special child… Thank you…” And with those few words the
Matriarch coughed an elephant cough and bade goodbye to her
lifelong friend.
Isazi knelt close to her and gently caressed her huge head.
He thought he saw through his tears her soul leaving to
elephant paradise beyond the rainbow’s end. He sadly
committed her body to the scavengers of the bush and thanked
the Creator for her life. The vultures were there circling above
in the darkening sky and the sounds of the scavengers were
close.

Dark was closing in fast as the moon was beginning to
shine upon the family herd lying silent and still. They appeared
in the darkness of the evening like huge rocks in the
moonlight. There was no sign of the Matriarch’s baby and
Isazi thanked God she was not there. All he needed to do now
was to hope and pray that the Creator of this wonderful valley
had somehow saved her young life and if so, He would protect
her.
He knew in faith that she would be found but for now the
noises of the bush warned him to leave the forest. The wild
animals were in search of food and his life was in danger.
Tomorrow he would make his way to his mountain refuge and
await news of the little elephant from the nature spirits. But
now he needed to leave the forest and make his way to the
village.
In the southern skies a meteor fell, lightning up the dark. It
was a warning that it was time for Bird to take flight to his
home across the river. Isazi looked one last time on the
Matriarch and with tears in his eyes he began to walk away.





Nature Spirit


The little elephant and her friend raced down the mountain as
the moon rose behind them. In minutes they had reached the
elephant feeding ground. But there was a deathly silence. It
was an eerie feeling. Not a nightjar or a cricket could be heard
and Circus’ senses told him something was terribly wrong. As
he sniffed the night air he could smell that familiar sweet scent
of blood. The little elephant raised her trunk to try to catch the
scent of her mother.
A cloud was partially covering the moon and it was quite
dark as the two approached cautiously. Circus crept as if
stalking prey. The moon drifted away to allow the starlit sky to
shed its light on the elephant herd. The frightened little
elephant gasped in terror at the sight. There lay her family,
silent and still. Her mother looked as if she was sleeping.
“Mama! Mama!” She nudged her mother with her trunk.
“Mama! Mama, please wake up. Please, Mama. I promise to
be good. I will never be naughty again. Mama, please?”
Circus looked on and sank to the ground as he cried a low
mournful howl. His friend was in panic and running from
mound to mound, trying to find life and rouse her family. She
trumpeted sadly but it seemed there was no one to listen. The
Matriarch and her herd were no longer living. She burst into
fresh weeping. She was a sad and lonely figure in the
moonlight.

“What will I do?” she cried out.
“Where will I go?”
“Who will I love?”
“But – who will love me?”

All was silent and still. She was alone. Circus looked on.
He was unable to find words to comfort his dearest friend. But,

somewhere in the darkness, although she could not hear
anything yet, something was happening. Other eyes had seen
her, other ears had heard her. Other hearts ached with hers.
As she looked through her tears, a tiny star began to shine
near her, close to her mother. Blinded by tears, confused and
forlorn, the sad little elephant imagined it could only be a
falling star. But it was not. Circus watched warily. He too had
never seen anything like this. The light shone brighter until it
reached the size of a hummingbird. Light spread through the
darkness. Then it began to speak.
“Dear little one, precious little one. I know you feel so
alone and sad – but you are not alone. Love is all around you! I
am not a star. I am Nature Spirit and I am here to look after
you.” The star spoke, which puzzled the two friends. “I have
always been close by, watching you grow, and I bade farewell
to your family when they left their earthly bodies to be with
Nature’s angels. I promised your Mama I would look after
you.”
Nature Spirit’s voice was so sweet, soothing and
reassuring that the little, orphaned elephant found herself
moving closer to her healing light. How comforted she felt.
She could see now that Nature Spirit had a beautiful face. She
was a picture of tenderness and love.
“But why Nature Spirit, why?” she asked softly. Her head
drooped and tears rolled down her tiny trunk.
“So many questions, little one, and so many answers, but
not now.” Nature Spirit flew up closer to her. “It’s time to
move away from here. I have a feeling some of the answers to
your questions will be revealed one day. For now, come,
follow me and I will light your path.”
With faltering steps the sad little elephant did what she
was told and followed Nature Spirit into a glade shining with
light – as if Nature had expected to see her.
Circus watched her from behind a bush and remained
motionless. The forest was lit by hundreds of fireflies. Circus’s
eyes grew bigger and bigger and they opened wider and wider.
His jaws dropped, showing teeth that to this day he had never
used in anger. He was in surprised shock and completely

confused. Unusually for Circus, he did not know what to do or
to say, so he looked on in total bewilderment.
There in the clearing ahead of them, next to Old Baobab
who looked down with his old grey eyes at the little elephant
he knew so well, there appeared a wild rambling rose. It was a
flower she had never seen before. It shone brightly in the
moonlight. Being an inquisitive little elephant she moved
towards the old tree and got closer to the beautiful pink rose.
She smelled its perfume with the tip of her tiny, sensitive
trunk. She was enchanted. It was the most perfect flower she
had ever seen. How ugly she began to feel as she compared
herself to the beauty of this delicate flower.
“Oh, Nature Spirit, what is this?” she inquired as she
smelled the rose and turned to Nature Spirit. She had never
seen anything like it. “It is so beautiful and so delicate and how
lovely it smells – can I eat it?”
“No, little one,” Nature Spirit laughed. “You can’t do that.
It’s a rose. But it’s a magic rose.”
“A magic rose! What is that, Nature Spirit? What is
magic? Oh, how I wish I could be like this flower instead of
the clumsy, unlovable creature I am,” she wished sadly as her
tiny sensitive trunk caressed the flower. Then suddenly
something sharp dug into her trunk. The thorns of the rose
bush had pricked her.
“Ow, that hurt!” she exclaimed.
Then a strange thing began to happen to her. She began to
glow and glow and glow and as this began to happen to her she
began to change. Circus found himself creeping up closer to
her. He was anxious.
“What is this? What is happening to me?” she called out.
She was confused.
“Now that’s what we call magic,” Nature Spirit replied
gleefully. “There is your answer. The valley holds many
secrets, many powers that come when we need them most.
How lucky you are!”
In the glade something wonderful began to unfold and
Circus watched in awe. As lovely as his friend had always
been to him, he never thought that she could become more

beautiful but, as the moments passed by, the little elephant
began to change. Her eyes grew bigger and bigger and her sad
face was transformed as she began to smile an elephant smile.
As she fluttered her eyelashes they began to grow. She looked
down at herself, then at Nature Spirit in wonder as her budding
tiny tusks began to grow too. Her sadness had gone. She
looked around her in amazement. Eyes were peering out from
the forest. This had to be magic!
Nature Spirit was smiling brightly. “We are all so happy
for you and if you listen to the wind in the trees, it has a
message to give to you. Can you listen?” Nature Spirit looked
gently down upon her young orphaned baby elephant as she
flew closer. “Can you hear it?”
The trees swayed in the gentle breeze and softly the glade
became quiet as Nature listened to the message the wind was
calling.
“Your wishes have been granted, young lady! The Creator
of the Valley has blessed you with the magic of the rose. You
are now a new little elephant and your name is Rosie.”
Nature Spirit flew closer to the surprised little elephant.
“Dear, precious little one. I think your wish has come true
and the answer to your questions will come one day. But there
are a few lessons you need to learn first. Are you ready to learn
them? They are quite easy, you know.” She smiled and shone
in the moonlight even brighter than before.
Rosie was delighted with her new name and she was such
a happy little elephant. “Dear Nature Spirit, I can’t wait. Can I
start learning the lessons now?”
“All right you can, but can you concentrate on what I have
to tell you?”
“Of course I can,” replied Rosie.
“You have now been blessed with love. You will learn that
where there is love, there is magic. All you have to do is to
love, even the unlovable, and then forgive, even the
unforgivable. There’s a power in the rose which you will come
to know,” Nature Spirit assured the young elephant. “And I
will always be there to help you. I have a feeling that you will

pass those lessons with flying colours because you are a very
clever little elephant.”
Rosie loved her name. She loved everything around her.
She was happy and for the moment, all her sadness had left
her. She glowed brightly.
“Oh, Nature Spirit, how lucky I am to have been given a
gift of magic. I am sure I can love everybody and everything.”
She had so much love to share it was bursting out of her. “I
love you all!” she cried out to the glade.
“Even Grumpy, Rosie?” asked Nature Spirit.
Grumpy? That was a hard question for Rosie to answer.
She had never liked the wounded and bad tempered old
buffalo. Who could? You always had to be careful of what you
said and did around him or he would fall into a deadly rage.
Remembering this, Rosie answered, she was sure she was
right.
“Grumpy the buffalo? No. How can you love him? He is
really hard work. He is always so angry and mean to everyone.
The animals fear his temper and his horns so he has no
friends,” answered Rosie.
“Mmm, that is why you have the power of the rose. It’s not
such a hard lesson to love the unlovable, you know. All you
need is a little understanding and compassion. If your tail had
been chopped off in a poacher’s snare you would also be
grumpy... Would you not? Can you imagine losing your tail?”
questioned Nature Spirit. “Magic and love is for all, even
Grumpy.”
This made Rosie think. She pondered a moment. Her own
lovely tail twitched at the thought of Grumpy’s painful loss.
“It must be hard for him,” agreed Rosie. “Not being able to
swish away those horrid flies. Poor Grumpy, how annoying it
must be for him!” Her heart began to swell with compassion. It
was a new way of thinking. “Maybe I can love Grumpy after
all. I’d like to try. How surprised he’ll be!”
“That’s right, Rosie, even Grumpy can be loved if you
think of the ways of the rose and its magic. How about
forgiving those human creatures who took your family away
from you?”

“How can you ask me to forgive them?” Rosie answered
harshly. Her little ears billowed and she stamped her feet. “I
never will! I will take revenge on them. I will avenge my
family, I will … I will find the Valley’s secret weapon and
destroy them!”
“Ah, Rosie, you still have some way to go before you find
out about the Valley’s secret weapon.”
“Then I‘ll use all the magic I can to make them suffer.”
“No, I don’t think you will, little one. That would be a big
mistake,” replied Nature Spirit calmly. “When I said goodbye
to your mother and your family herd she bore no hatred for
those ill-informed humans. They were taking orders from the
Wicked One and they believed your family were just dumb
wild animals. She forgave them with her last breath and she
believed that one day they would learn that we are all one in
Creation. The Creator made us all. He gives us all the power to
love and to forgive even the unforgivable. There’s more power
in that than in anger. ”
“Oh, no, Nature Spirit, I will not ever forgive humans!
With that exclamation something began to happen and the
glow around Rosie began to fade.
“What have I done?” she cried out. “Why am I losing my
glow? I am losing the magic!
“Yes, little one, that can happen,” agreed Nature Spirit.
“But if you promise to try very hard to love and forgive it will
all come back.”
With all the strength Rosie could gather, she made another
impassioned wish as she looked up at the starlit skies.
“I know, dear Creator of all, that I am not a lovable little
elephant without the magic of your Rose. But please can I have
my magic back again and I will do anything I can to be good
and make you happy. I promise I shall try very hard to learn all
the lessons I need to know. Please don’t leave me! I know if I
try I can do it.” She felt truly sorry for her behaviour.
With that plea to the Creator Rosie began to glow even
brighter.
Nature Spirit once again smiled in contentment.

The forest began to cheer and sing. Circus could not
believe his eyes or his ears and vigorously shook his head. He
looked at his friend again and saw not the naughty, clumsy
baby elephant he had begun his adventure with but an elegant,
magical, beautiful young lady elephant called Rosie.
Rosie for the first time since entering the glade guiltily
noticed Circus. She gave him a wink he would never forget as
he shyly crept forward from behind Old Baobab. She hurried
to meet him and hugged him to her with her trunk. Circus
yelped in surprised pain and Rosie giggled softly.
“Oh, do forgive me, Circus!” Her voice was sultry velvet.
“I had completely forgotten about the tusks! I really do have to
be more careful in future.”
The two had found each other again and Rosie sighed
happily.
The forest sang a lullaby of the trees and none of them saw
the fireflies leave. They were content with finding each other
and their long adventurous day had ended happily for the
sleeping friends.
What a wonderful magical night it had been.



New Beginnings


Sam turned the small stone carved elephant over in his hands.
His African family’s totem? What could a little boy from
England know of such things? All he knew was that the
elephants were supposed to have long memories.
Uncle Max placed his hand over Sam’s trembling,
clenched fists. The roar of the jumbo jet’s engines shook him
as it took to the sky. It was a bright winter’s day. Uncle Max
had come to take him to the country of his ancestors and was
taking care of him on the journey. Sam looked down on the
green fields of England. He was on his way to Asazi, the Far-
Away Land Grandmother Dee had spoken so much about
before she died.
“Are you sad, Sam?” asked Uncle Max.
“Yes, I will miss my friends,” Sam replied as he looked
down on the English countryside for the last time. The huge
aircraft climbed into the sky at high speed and soon they had
left the coast of England and were flying over the ocean.
Sam looked at Uncle Max’s hand as it rested on his lap. It
was warm and comforting but very black. Sam had been the
darkest child in his village. Uncle Max made him look pale.
“Grandmother Dee often talked to me about the Far-Away
Land and I am excited to be going to see my Grandfather
Peter, but I am sad too.”
“The Far-Away Land?’ Uncle Max was confused.
“Asazi,” replied Sam. “She called it the Far-Away Land.”
Sam fought back his tears. “Big boys don’t cry”, he
remembered his Grandmother Dee saying, and he certainly
was not going to start his life in Africa as a sissy. He would not
disappoint Grandmother Dee like that. He looked again at his
carved elephant.
“Elephants are beautiful creatures – brave and loving – but
you must not go near them,” his uncle warned him. “An