Elephants World, Kancanaburi, Thailand

The sanctuary was not such a bad place, Hong Faa decided.

Her own mahout was kind to her, and she never saw a chain, like in the days at the logging camp, or a whip like at the trekking camp where the cruel one tore her ear.

But in her distant memory, she saw the forest, and longed for the daughter taken away so long ago.

And so when the trucks came, Hong Faa went to the gate to wait. But she never saw her daughter.

But one day she saw the beggar calf–a young elephant of seven summers. That awkward age which has so much learning left to do. A calf as dark as forest bark, with the brightest eyes she’d seen in fifty years.

“Kanta,” she heard the young mahout say as he guided her down the ramp. And in her heart, Hong Faa said Kanta too.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. This week, I wandered away from the cemetery that Pegman landed at and wound up at an elephant sanctuary, where the real-life Hong Faa and Kanta are residents. And from the sounds of it, they’re inseparable.

To read more flash fiction inspired by the prompt, click here.

To learn more about Hong Faa and Kanta, you can check out Elephants World.


  1. This is marvelous. My daughter is extremely fond of elephants, and we have “adopted” several of them through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are such amazing creatures, smart and social and magnificent. Not sure how I feel about the practice of riding them at this park, but I love that the visitors wash their food and walk them to the river to bathe and make them sticky rice balls.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well written sweet little tale of a pachyderm’s huge heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a really touching story Karen. It brought to mind the incident involving Tyke in 1994, in Honolulu, which did at least help to reduce the use of animals in circuses and the cruelty that stemmed from it. Thank goodness for the people who open and maintain sanctuaries that allow working animals to live at least some of their lives in a manner closer to what nature intended.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not familiar with that story. I will have to check it out. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


  4. pennygadd51

    A lovely tale. I like the way you imagine Hong Faa’s thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!


  5. A very touching story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Karen,

    Deeply touching and imaginative. You truly have a way with a story.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw so glad you liked it!


  7. Oh that’s sweet. I’m glad she found a kind mahout and even happier she found her daughter. Lovely story! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 thanks, I’m glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yum! I love this being told from an elephant’s POV. They are so wise, so social and loving and so ill-treated. I once barely watched a video about how baby elephants were captured and beaten for days until they submitted to captivity. Humans are an interesting lot. You really captured that. (As you can tell by my rant!) VERY well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same way about the elephant-human relationship. I’m so delighted you feel I captured it. Thanks for reading!


      1. I always enjoy your tales.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Right back atcha! 🙂


  9. peterkirsch

    ohhh…tugging at some serious heart strings here.

    Winkie (formerly of Vilas Zoo in Madison), one of our favorite animal rescue stories, just passed away at the age of 51 after a nearly 17-year retirement at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

    The majestic creatures deserve so much better than we seem willing to provide.

    Very well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jellico84

    A beautiful story, loved reading that one. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad, thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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