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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

Farewell, Dear 71

Published 10/03/08
By Susan Trout, Program Assistant

71 and Mara at the lakeI was so sad to learn that PAWS’ beloved African elephant, 71, passed away recently. I’ll never forget my visit to PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society) in July ’06. Mara and 71 had such an impact on me. The image I have of Pat Derby gently patting 71’s massive derriere and listening to her soft rumbling in contentment is one I’ll keep forever. Those magnificent elephants could have chosen to be any place in that vast pasture of theirs but they chose to be with us that day. It is an honor I will fondly remember.

There are times when I look at humanity and wonder if we’ll ever really evolve to a level where we recognize the interconnection we all share with each and every living thing, and come to a place where we no longer harbor the need for domination of other living beings, instead replacing it with a genuine reverence for all life.

One day (if I live long enough) I hope to awaken to a morning like no other. I’ll recognize it immediately and my whole being will both rejoice and heave a giant sigh of relief! That will truly be “change.”

Rest gently, Dear 71. All who knew and loved you will remember you forever.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on the snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken,
in the morning's hush,
I am the soft uplifting rush of
quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I did not die.

— Author Unknown

Blogging off,

Susan

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