MaeDoe was a baby elephant.
MaeDoe was loved and protected by her mother, her sisters, and her auntie.
The little family walked many miles each day finding their favourite food of leaves and grass.
They met other elephant families at the pond.
MaeDoe loved to play in the water and roll in the mud. The mud protected her skin from the hot sun.
Then one day something happened.
While MaeDoe was deep in the pond the elephants on the shore started trumpeting and stomping their feet. “Danger!” They turned and ran away.
MaeDoe’s mother frantically called to her, “Come, MaeDoe, come!”
MaeDoe hurried to get out of the pond to her mother but the water made her slow and the mud was slippery.
With one last loud trumpet, MaeDoe’s mother, her eyes wide with fright, turned and ran. MaeDoe watched her mother, her auntie, and her sisters all disappear into the forest.
MaeDoe was left behind. She was all alone.
Strange men caught her and took her away. MaeDoe’s life was very sad after that.
A mean man made her walk along noisy busy streets. He hurt her if she didn’t walk with him. People gave the man money to pat her head and feed her fruit from his basket.
At night MaeDoe was tied with a painful chain so she could not go and search for her family.
MaeDoe grew bigger and bigger. Soon the people were afraid of her and ran away instead of smiling and paying to feed her. So the man sold her.
After a long frightening ride in a big truck, MaeDoe found herself back in a forest. But it was not her forest. Her family was not there. She heard elephant trumpets. She heard elephant cries.
MaeDoe was afraid.
A new man put a big rope around MaeDoe. He pushed her with a pointed stick. It hurt. MaeDoe tried to get away but something very heavy pulled her back.
MaeDoe was in a logging forest. When the trees were cut down, elephants pulled the huge logs to be loaded on trucks. The trees were gone so there was no shade. The rains came and the muddy hills were slippery. It was very hard work for MaeDoe.
One day MaeDoe slipped and fell. She couldn’t get up. The man was angry and hit her and poked her with his sharp stick. MaeDoe tried and tried but she was badly hurt. Finally she managed to stand but she had broken a big bone and she couldn’t pull any more. The man sold her.
MaeDoe stood alone under a little roof for a long time. She wanted so badly to go home to her family.
One day a little lady came and put her hand gently on MaeDoe’s trunk and looked into her sad, lonely eyes. The look reminded MaeDoe of the way her mother and her auntie looked at her, a long time ago.
MaeDoe looked into eyes that loved her.
MaeDoe reached out her trunk and touched the lady very carefully.
The lady cried and reached her arms around as much of MaeDoe as she could reach and held MaeDoe in her arms. She sang a lullaby to MaeDoe. Tears fell from MaeDoe’s eyes too.
“You’re safe now, my little one,” the lady whispered. “You’re safe. I will take you home with me. You will sleep without a chain. You will bathe in the river again. You will roll in the mud. You will find a friend. You will be loved.”
And so it happened. MaeDoe went with the lady whose name was Lek Chailert. They went home to Elephant Nature Park. MaeDoe had trouble walking but she had a friend, she bathed in the river, she had rice balls and watermelon treats to eat, and she slept on a soft sand bed.
MaeDoe never forgot her mother and her sisters and her auntie but she was loved again. She was a happy elephant.
More information, volunteer opportunities and donations are accepted at https://www.saveelephant.org/