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The Cowboy and His Elephantby Malcolm Macpherson
Synopses & Reviews
In the late 1980s, a female baby elephant was born into a herd that lived on the plains of southern Africa. Her mother has carried her for two years, and normally she would have nursed her for five more. But the close-knit family of wild elephants was to face a predator for which it was no match--humans. In a "cull," her family was slaughtered in a few moments. Only the newborn female's life was spared. Terrified and bewildered the young elephant was transported to America to be sold. There she met the person who was to change her life forever.
Bob Norris is a cowboy with an enormous empathy for animals that overwhelms his other emotions. He was raised with a pet bear and as a boy decided to become a real cowboy. He saw his dream come true in Colorado on one of the larger horse-and-cattle ranches in America. Handsome as a movie star, he became the Marlboro Man and appeared on TV and on billboards around the world. But with the passing of years, and with his own family grown up, he felt the need for something that he could not name.
When she came into his life by happenstance, the hurt, vulnerable little elephant tapped the fullness of Bob's empathy, and an incredible bond between the most unlikely of friends was forged.
Bob adopted the baby orphan elephant--named Amy--and patiently set about helping her recover from the trauma of her ordeal. He had never seen a real African elephant up close, except in zoos. He was a horseman and breeder of champion quarter horses. But through close observation, gentle training, humor, and endless perseverance, Bob gradually coaxed Amy into overcoming her mistrust of humans, and indeed, her fear of the world. The little elephant became a "hand" on Bob's ranch, tending to simple chores, riding the fences, and shadowing Bob on his horse. She developed a winning personality, and a strong character, and became a beloved member of the Norris family and partner to the ranch hands.
But Bob knew from the start that the ultimate goal was for Amy to regain her confidence and her independence - even, if it were possible, to go back to the savannahs of Africa.
This is the true story of how Amy and Bob came together. No one who reads The Cowboy and His Elephant can fail to be moved by such a simple tale of unlikely love.
In the tradition of "Born Free" and the masterpieces of James Herriot comes a heartwarming story of a modern-day cowboy and a baby elephant. 16-page photo insert.
In the late 1980s, a female baby elephant was born on the plains of Southern Africa. In a "cull," her family was slaughtered. Only the newborn female's life was spared. Terrified and bewildered the young elephant was transported to America to be sold.
Bob Norris is a cowboy with an enormous empathy for animals. Handsome as a movie star, he was the Marlboro Man, with his face appearing on billboards around the world. But something was missing. When the hurt, vulnerable little elephant, Amy, came into his life, an incredible bond between the most unlikely of friends was forged.
Bob adopted Amy and through close observation, gentle training, humor, and endless perseverance, this accomplished horseman gradually coaxed Amy into overcoming her mistrust of humans, and her fear of the world. Amy became a beloved member of the Norris family, and partner to the ranch hands, but Bob knew from the start that the ultimate goal was for Amy to regain her confidence and her independence - even, if it were possible, to go back to the savannahs of Africa.
Amy may have left the cowboy's life, but she never left his heart. The Cowboy and His Elephant is a story of mutual friendship, of genuine love and compassion, and foremost, this is an American story with roots that run deep in the values and traditions of the American West.
This is a touching account of the incredible kindness and love shown by a real-life American cowboy--indeed the real Marlboro Man--toward an orphaned and sick African elephant baby named Amy who was brought to America after a cull. The cowboy brought Amy back to strength and watched her grow and enjoy life until she was able to leave his vast cattle ranch in the Rockies for the circus where she performed until this summer. Amy may have left the cowboy's property, but she never left his heart. This is the story of a mutual friendship, of learning to know and appreciate each other, and of genuine love and compassion. It is the Born Free of elephants, the Born Free of our time and place, for this is foremost an American story with roots that run deep in the values and traditions of the American West.
About the Author
Malcolm MacPherson is a writer and journalist, former Newsweek staff correspondent in Nairobi, Paris, and London. He has written nine books of fiction and non fiction. He has worked as a Senior Editor for New York Magazine, a Senior Writer for Premiere, and contributed to publications from The New York Times to the Reader's Digest, Playboy, and Smithsonian. He now lives in northern Virginia.
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