Mary The Elephant – A Cash Cow’s Fate


Actual photo of Mary the Elephant hanging in Tennessee, September 13, 1916

A Cash Cow’s Fate

Mary must have felt like Eve when spotting the denied fruit
so tempting, so luscious
just one taste
just one mouthful couldn’t hurt anything –

Mary’s dark eyes fixated upon the treasure
her trunk reaching out to take in the smell –
a broken hunk of watermelon left in full view
she remembered as elephants do, the taste
the sweet, pink ripeness
making her mouth water
even her aching abscessed teeth could handle this

On that September day in Kingsport, Tennessee
nothing could stop her five-ton desire –
surely not  the skinny handler
the rusty mopped ‘Red’ Eldridge riding her back –
He warned Mary to stay away from the watermelon
or pay the consequence
Mary decided his words were spoken with a serpents forked tongue
as she fixated upon the only thing truly worth living for
as a mighty hunger drove her on

Red tried to stop her by hitting her on the head blow after blow
gaffing his sharp hook behind her sensitive, ears
Mary did what she had done to several other abusive handlers
she threw him to the ground-
only this time she had had enough
and stomped upon his red head
until it was as broken and spilled of contents  as the mellon
she then walked away free
walked free to her beloved awaiting treat
now she ate of her forbidden fruit with supreme satisfaction

Mary savored each morsel as if knowing it was a last meal
even as a blacksmith appeared and
pumped five bullets into her side
and Sheriff Gallahan braised her with his .45
she showed no pain or remorse when taken back to her tent

At the two-bit failing Circus show of Charlie Sparks that night
Mary performed as she always had despite the bullet wounds,
despite the blows and fresh, bloody scabs from the gaffing hook,
But some human with a voice of conscience
decided upon Biblical justice –
and just as Eve was caught and reprimanded,
so did someone cast a ‘Genesis’ fate
onto this 30 year old elephant by implying;
“I will greatly multiply thy pain”.

That would draw the crowd!
that  would bring the Sparks Brothers Circus publicity!
The lynching of an elephant –

Mary was to be hung in typical Big-Top fashion
and just like the show
did they go
elephants head to tail,  a four pachyderm procession
led by Mary on her final tour of the Apocalypse

2500 humans with a morbid curiosity
marched behind to the Clinchfield Railroad yards
for  free-admission to the biggest show in town
for a look upon punishment for committing evil

Mary’s wrinkled leg was chained to a rail
another chain was fixed about Mary’s neck
and a 100-ton crane with a Herculean task
hoisted  her 10,000 pounds off the ground
but her leg was still attached to the lower rail
as they pulled her neck up
and as her body swayed
the 7/8” chain broke

Gravity pulled her gargantuan weight down
bones were heard to snap
ligaments torn
Mary trumpeted  in pain from the broken hip
that planted her solid weight hard
against gravel rock and timbers
Mary squealed, protested and struggled
as they shackled her once again
but finally the task was completed –
she hung there a while in complete protocol
a vision of  ‘old’ Southern redemption
reserved for any crime committed back then
by those of African ancestry

After the last spectator left –
they brought poor Mary down
cut away her tusks
then plowed her broken body into a burial site
at the railroad yard

We can learn a lot from the imprinting of elephant memory
about how an animal’s brain really thinks,
we know Mary loved the taste for something sweet
and had a bitter taste for revenge after years
of being forced into labor
of being manacled to what cruelty and abuse
humanity had inflicted upon her –
years of daily blows to the body-
of gaffing hooks that tore into the flesh-
and a mouth full of untreated aching and rotting teeth
it’s no wonder an elephant could snap
it’s no wonder an elephant really never forgets…

image8-1res don’t know who to give credit for-

Abbe  2005  – Please report all animal cruelty to your local Humane Society

3 thoughts on “Mary The Elephant – A Cash Cow’s Fate

  1. Abbe,
    I DID read this to it’s tragic end, and found it to be tragic and yes, disturbing which I am sure was your intent. I’m assuming you wrote this to drive home to the readers the absolute need for us as compassionate human beings to champion and protect any and all animals who might be subjected to abuse.
    Anyone who can write something that affects readers as strongly as you have here, is TALENTED.
    Super, effective writing, Abbe.

  2. What you have written is no more than propaganda supporting Mary yet treating dead Red as nothing more than a cruel human who deserved to have his melon crushed by the huge beast.
    I have no remorse for the killer elephant and believe she should have been put down so she couldn’t take any more innocent lives.
    If you think a prod in the back of the ear deserves a crushed head in return you are mistaken.

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