Elephant Winter

Elephant Winter

Kim Echlin

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0786706104

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Summoned home from Zimbabwe, Sophie Walker has returned to southern Ontario to nurse her dying mother. Her mother's farm borders on a tacky tourist spot called "Safari, " and across from the kitchen window Sophie sees a herd of the immense Asian elephants playing in the snow. When the elephant keeper invites her to join in caring for the herd, she discovers a new human-animal relationship by recording and playing back the infrasound rumblings, bellows, and trumpets of the elephants. As she and her mother try to decode an Elephant-English dictionary, Sophie slowly uncovers an elephant culture, one which simultaneously honors the herd and the individual with Zen-like acceptance.

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of my humanity, an allure As of the presence of God. I am sure In the dustbins, in the manure, in the cat at play Is the presence of God, in a sure way He moves there. Mother, what do you say? *ooo~erh^: (22 Hz.) A support song, encouraging another (or oneself) in any difficult task. When one of our elephants was very young she slipped down the muddy banks of the pond and into the freezing water in early spring. Three females immediately started to help rescue her, tugging and pushing and

much more fun when you’re not supposed to.” I went to the kitchen cupboard and took down two crystal scotch tumblers. I clanked a couple of ice cubes into the glasses and poured out the warm liquid. By the time I got back, she was sitting up, patchy hair smoothed, the TV off. “Alecto brought a new article he published to show me this afternoon. He was all excited.” I handed her drink across the bed. “I know, he brought it to the barn, too. Did you read it?” “No, I can’t read those things.

was growing up, we often looked together at anatomy books about the small birds and animals she was painting. She had a skeleton of an owl that she kept on the kitchen counter for weeks. We examined the bones together and she showed me how the joints worked. We looked at how its magnificent head could turn around and where the wide, powerful wings joined the body. She told me the tales of Michelangelo secretly dissecting human bodies to see inside how they worked. But tonight she advised me not

weeks. I could feel Jo’s eyes on my back and a few steps further I turned, telling myself I wanted to see the elephants file through the yard into the barn. I searched the barnyard and the stony, snowy fields, but in the half light of winter dusk I could see little and hear only the distant roar of cars. Jo and all his elephants had disappeared traceless in the gloom, gone. Moore dove at my face and tried to get out the open door. I slipped through like a shadow and the ageing budgie flapped

remember the wonderful shape. I remember everyone wanting to touch me. There was a pencil-seller who used to hang around the café below our apartment. He was a dwarf, with crossed eyes and he wore glasses. I’d give him a few francs sometimes. One morning he walked straight up to me, stuck out his hand and rubbed it on my stomach.” “How awful.” “It was . . .” Her eyes drifted to the back of the room. “There was another night, when your father and I went out to see friends in the Bois de

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