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January 17, 2013

Local Voices From Around the Globe: High atop an elephant


Elephants are easy to fall in love with. In fact, they are impossible not to fall in love with. Upon sighting one, you’ll think “ELEPHANT!! Awwww,” then up close, an unwanted timidity washes over your excitement as the rough, probing trunk of the animal callously investigates you, your clothes and your face with a bristly, dripping tip. The eyes of the elephant, much like the eyes of a learned Thai monk, speak nothing but the highest wisdom and patience and are intoxicating in their integrity. As you try to shy away from the invasive trunk and the massive flat feet of the animal, you can’t help but linger a few more uneasy minutes because of your sheer elation to be in its presence.

The elephant is a national symbol of Thailand and its image can be found on nearly all tourist apparel, exaggerated with exquisite, flowing carpets of the finest Thai silk; gliding through purple clouds and ethereal heavens on coin purses and bracelets. They deserve as much embellishment for they are undoubtedly some of the most majestic, solemn creatures in the world, yet when all is said and done Khana and the rest of her kin are just animals. They eat, breathe, sleep and poop. That great, rough, curious trunk that is so iconic was, I’m sure, just concerned with the three bananas I was hiding behind my back.

Zak Aldridge is a junior at Milford Central School. To read more from him, visit

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