On a hot Sunday afternoon
Dad and I
Went to see the elephants
At the temple
They had come for the Day Perehera
We took black sugar cane, bananas, jaggery and tamarind
One of them
tied to a coconut tree
Was busy eating coconut leaves
When we saw him
And offered him our gifts
He ate all of it with glee
Nuzzling our hands
Crunching on the sugarcane- loudly
Save the tamarind of course
He took one sniff and jerked away his trunk
As if to say
You’ve got to be kidding me!

They move among us
These creatures and
we never stop to think
These are elephants
On our roads
Stopping traffic

We are intrinsically linked
To this great land
The Elephants and we

Sashikala Premawardhane

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