“Hello August,” said the Elephant.
August could not reply, for August was nothing tangible with which the Elephant could communicate. But the Elephant knew she was in the presence of August – in the presence of the waning African winter. She had survived another minute – another hour – another day – another month. She’d survived another season, and after many moons, another year. She dragged her trunk across blades of grass wetted by the brief morning rain, and her feet sank, just a bit further, into the ground.
As she pressed on, her great ivory tusks parted the grasses before her – and her feet left a telling trail in her wake. The sun rose on the first day of August and as it did, the morning’s droplets vanished – into either dirt or air. Cooler than summer but still warm by standards, August remained able to hug the Elephant, teasing spring warmth while filling her trunk with its wintry fragrance. The Elephant grazed as she waded through grass, then she crossed a river and took a nap.
This particular nap was one from which the Elephant never awoke. Murder came in her sleep, and thievery came after death. Stripped of her ivory, in the Serengeti her body stayed – and to the Elephant, August said, “Goodbye.”
“Hello August,” said the Elephant, (c) 2014
Welcome to August, my birth month!
The above poem, “Hello August,” said the Elephant, was crafted to be a tragically beautiful conservation piece. Last year, for my birthday, my only wish was to raise money for the conservation of elephants (and big cats). I created a painting and asked readers to save the picture and use it as their social media image for a day – my birthday (August 12). This year, I’m asking you to share my poem. By spreading the message, it is my hope that attention becomes action – so that one day, I may craft an ending where the Elephant lives.
As I march toward August 12th, and the year I’m dubbing “the great 28,” I find my wish to be the same – to do what I can to make a difference. That’s why this year I’m asking you all to join me again! In lieu of birthday cards or gifts, I’m asking you to make a donation to one of the following conservation organizations in my honor – then send an e-mail to me letting me know (please) – email@example.com :
“The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species that can ultimately enjoy a quality of life in wild terms when grown.” (from website)
“[Save The Elephants] Our mission: to secure a future for elephants and to sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live; to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species.” (from website)
“Populations of lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, jaguars, and other top felines are declining at an alarming rate. They are victims of habitat loss and degradation as well as conflicts with humans. In response, National Geographic, with filmmakers, conservationists, and Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, launched the Big Cats Initiative, a comprehensive program that supports on-the-ground conservation and education projects combined with our Cause an Uproar global public-awareness campaign.
Cause an Uproar and join us in working to ensure that our future is not without these majestic creatures.” (from website)
Last year, we raised $175 for the conservation of the world’s elephants and big cats. This year, I’m hoping to match – or exceed that amount. In addition to funds raised on my birthday I’m declaring that 25% of my earnings on Sunday, August 10 will be donated to Cause an Uproar – as a memorial for my Grandma Sarah (who would have been 77 this year) and to commemorate World Lion Day!
Join me. Let’s do some good together and if you need anymore convincing, see the gallery below. Thank you.