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Born in captivity, Ernest has no idea about life in the wild. He has no connection to any of his wild relatives. His first elephant friend, wild born Frankie, tells Ernest about the pleasures of living in the wild and the close-knit family he deeply misses. Frankie’s stories of life as a free elephant sound magical, but hopelessly unattainable. Ernest doesn’t know what he is missing, but he is about to find out…
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Still reeling from Mary’s death, Eve, Maggie, and I quietly enjoyed the warmth of the sun one breezy sunny day. It was one of those days, neither hot nor cold; just between cool and warm with a gentle breeze. I held my face toward the sun with my eyes closed.
“Caresses,” Eve’s soft rumble broke the silence.
“Caresses?” Maggie and I echoed simultaneously.
“The breeze is a gentle caress from those we love who are no longer with us. Today we are receiving lots of caresses.”
“Who is caressing us?” Maggie demanded as she batted her beautiful eyelashes.
“Mary and Rosemary just caressed us. Did you not feel it?”
“How do you know it was them?” Maggie again demanded.
“Shhhhhh,” Eve scolded softly. “When the world is very quiet far from the noise of humans, and we are extremely still, our loved ones will gently comfort us; sometimes in the form of a breeze on a nice day like today; other times, a single star in the night sky, or a butterfly gently landing near us. All of these brief encounters are reminders that our loved ones are still with us even though we can’t see them except in our memories. You must open your hearts or the opportunity will be missed. It will never happen with noise. The noise is a barrier. Today is a particularly quiet day.”
I immediately thought of Frankie and my mom. “Mom, Frankie. Are you there?” I whispered. A small gust swept over us.
“Did you feel that?” Maggie squeaked wide eyed.
I looked at Eve who smiled knowingly, then shut her eyes to enjoy her often missed loved ones.