Charismatic megabeast

ST. ALBANS, Feb 13 – We humans are capable of great achievement, progress, passion. We are also greedy, nasty and brutal. We are all too often at odds with ourselves for ridiculous reasons. And we are not too kind to other creatures.

Take elephants. They’re like whales – charismatic megabeasts. And we slaughter them. Some people at least eat whales, but elephants? We steal their teeth to sell, to carve, to own, for status. Of course, we protest about it, sign petitions on Facebook and so on. But nothing changes.

It’s not just elephants and whales of course. We all know that. We all know that we are destroying the very nature we depend on for our own survival. Could it be that we are the elephant in the room? It’s an uncomfortable thought. But we have to face it to change our ways.

So here’s one for the tuskers. Our attitude towards them and the rest of Nature will determine our own fate. Don’t look away now …

elephant 1



A man in China craves my teeth

And so will pay to have me shot

By men with automatic guns

Who will not stop because I’m here

You have to hear my trumpet shrill!

My teeth they crave, my life to take!

I hear the engines of their jeeps …

Of course they’re drunk, they always are

On greed! Your greatest drug of all

Help me! Help! Please hear my cry!

How many more of us must die?

Because a man in China lusts,

To own, to have, to carve my tusks?


Three men with guns burst in on us

RIP! RIP! of shooting fills our room

ZIP! THUD! of bullets sewing doom

A tear of pain in tusker’s eyes

As he succumbs and silent dies


Don’t look away! DON’T! look away


A ‘Made in China’ chainsaw coughs

In a grinning poacher’s bloody hands

A smuggled smoke between in his lips

As chainsaw whines triumphantly

And dentistry for elephants – begins

by R J Askew

(picture credit:



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