There I am. Bawling my eyes out through the last twenty pages of Modoc. My Rudolph red nose. My soaked eyelashes. My hair sticking to my wet cheeks.
Which brings up the question: WHY…. Why do I read animal books? That’s all I do is wail like a baby the whole time. The Art of Racing In The Rain? Sobbed. A Dog’s Purpose … Wept. Life of Pi ? Vociferated through probably forty percent of that book. If the ship-sinking chapter got you in Life of Pi, just you wait for the depression you will feel in Modoc.
I should have known this book would make me cry. I told myself though, you don’t have any personal experience with elephants. This will be an emotional breeze!
Modoc: The True Story of The Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer
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.
*Returns from retrieving a box of Kleenexes*
As an animal lover, this book pulls at all the right heart strings. Bram and Modoc are born on the same day on a farm that trains elephants for the circus. It’s hard to deny destiny like that. At any of their separations, the emotions are enough to compete with Sara McLachlan’s SPCA commercials. At times, you are sure you have seen the end of this relationship between boy and elephant. The only reassurance you have is there is still over a hundred pages left. Enters the last thirty pages and you will start to doubt there is a god.
I loved this book. It’s claim of being a true story has be challenged by many reviewers. If you are one of those people who get all huffy with a little fictional liberty, then this book may not be for you. Sure, I could do my fact checking and see. I’d rather not. To me Modoc is real, and that’s that.
Next book on YBI, YRI: My God’s Mercy, Now That I Think About It by Lillie V Apiyo