Wankie the Elephant and the President

Written by Roger Wright

Continued from page 1

Kevin Bell,repparttar man who runsrepparttar 140062 zoo---a lifer inrepparttar 140063 business who never really wanted to do anything else, stands inrepparttar 140064 shadow ofrepparttar 140065 big exhibit, a six inch sheaf of lab results clutched in one hand,repparttar 140066 other hand rubbing his temples –Kevin Bell can feel it. Like a wind that blows where it chooses. A life force wrapped in eons of elephant time that drivesrepparttar 140067 giant creature to hide its vulnerabilities. Elephant’s never look sick or weak. That’s how they protected themselves back onrepparttar 140068 African plains. They never showed a weakness.

Right up untilrepparttar 140069 moment thatrepparttar 140070 elephant drops.

So whilerepparttar 140071 elephant is still standing upright---the elephant looks great. Wankie looks fine. But Kevin Bell and every single other member of that small army of care knows about her lung problems. Just like they knowsrepparttar 140072 risks of treatment. So it’s Kevin Bell’s signature that’s onrepparttar 140073 order for that moving van to take Wankie to a zoo in Utah. And he’s ready to accept that. But as he does--a question so loud in his brain that it rings like a steel hammer onrepparttar 140074 bars ofrepparttar 140075 exhibit “What’s best forrepparttar 140076 animal? What’s best forrepparttar 140077 animal, what’s best forrepparttar 140078 animal?” A question ringing out like that bass line now coming fromrepparttar 140079 trainers’s room torepparttar 140080 side ofrepparttar 140081 exhibit

I know a place

Ain’t nobody cryin

Kevin Bell, actually understandingrepparttar 140082 word accountability, keeps repeating that question to himself. He doesn’t realize that he is whisperingrepparttar 140083 question to himself out loud as if by askingrepparttar 140084 question enough times, he could somehow physically willrepparttar 140085 answer to appear.

The air brakes ofrepparttar 140086 semi truck whoosh and groan outsiderepparttar 140087 service entrance. Off torepparttar 140088 side, facing some bushes and unseen byrepparttar 140089 truck driver-- a woman is hurriedly putting her TV make up on, getting ready for tonight’s news report. Rae Lynn Henderson, a name she’s grown comfortable with overrepparttar 140090 past 2 years, had just been text messaged from her boss back atrepparttar 140091 Colorado Springs based PDA (People Defending Animals) withrepparttar 140092 order that if Kevin Bell ignored one more e-mail, it would be alright for Rae Lynn to lie down in front ofrepparttar 140093 semi truck that was takingrepparttar 140094 elephant out tonight.

As Rae Lynn checked her face,repparttar 140095 Secretary of Defense andrepparttar 140096 Vice President, are joined in a secure conference call by a man who’s name never appeared in any news stories, now sitting in a comfortable book filled room of a mansion in Arlington Virginia, ,and byrepparttar 140097 blond crew cut, mirrored sunglasses passenger inrepparttar 140098 lead car of President Bush’s caravan. This quiet collection of leaders were being briefed thatrepparttar 140099 tiny Cessna had been guided in safely byrepparttar 140100 military air power. There was no threat. It had all been a false alarm. A flight instructor innocently wandering off his path inside restricted airspace. All systems go.

A moment of silence onrepparttar 140101 call, andrepparttar 140102 question was asked: “Do we apprise him ofrepparttar 140103 status?” Andrepparttar 140104 man with no name answered calmly from his quiet den in Virginia “I don’t believe that will be necessary.”

And asrepparttar 140105 call clicked off;repparttar 140106 doors ofrepparttar 140107 giant moving van in Chicago swung open and that other small army of caretakers circledrepparttar 140108 ramp to watch Wankie take one more walk up insiderepparttar 140109 truck. And here is whatrepparttar 140110 onlooker would have seen if they had watched. Every single one of those people got to tellrepparttar 140111 elephant that they loved her. Some of them said it out loud, some to themselves, some said it on their faces with their tears. They told her.

And as that love poured out of those people in this imperfect blessed and full of grace world we all live in, another stroller with a wide eyed child came thrurepparttar 140112 front entrance ofrepparttar 140113 Lincoln Park Zoo forrepparttar 140114 very first time. A radio somewhere off inrepparttar 140115 distance plays that bass line

I know a place

Ain’t nobody cryin. . . .

A bass line. Perhapsrepparttar 140116 finest in all of rock and roll soul.

Later that very same night. Inrepparttar 140117 cab ofrepparttar 140118 truck withrepparttar 140119 windows open on a clear, starlit Nebraska highway. The driver feelsrepparttar 140120 load shift. And just asrepparttar 140121 load shifts he too hearsrepparttar 140122 bass line

I know a place

Ain’t nobody cryin. . . .

Like a wind that that blows where it chooses. You hearrepparttar 140123 sound of it.. Wankierepparttar 140124 Elephant goes down.


And they told her that.

Roger Wright's blog is Church Food Chicago. He connects music, politics religion and today's news in strange ways.

Slaves' Songs and Freedom

Written by Robert Bruce Baird

Continued from page 1

Clearly,repparttar slaves’ world was much more complicated than most slaveholders understood. The slave community supported its members as they dealt withrepparttar 140039 institution of slavery andrepparttar 140040 human relationships within it. {In this way it was an extended family with children being cared for by all and a real strength existed thatrepparttar 140041 masters did not have as they competed against each other or screwedrepparttar 140042 slaves to satisfy indecent needs while neglecting their wife and family.} Underrepparttar 140043 power ofrepparttar 140044 planters, slaves had to depend on ingenuity, imagination, andrepparttar 140045 creative use of information. They also used whites’ racial stereotypes to their advantage whenever possible. Since slaveholders generally assumed that slaves’ singing connoted contentment and passivity,repparttar 140046 slaves used music to pass along messages, to controlrepparttar 140047 pace of work, to placate a suspicious master, or to subtly comment on a person or a situation forrepparttar 140048 benefit or amusement of fellow slaves. When slaves sang ‘patter-roll round me. Thank God he no ketch me,’ most slaves understoodrepparttar 140049 humorous message. Slaves referred torepparttar 140050 slave patrols, generally made up of poor white men who did not own slaves, as ‘patter rollers’. This song wasrepparttar 140051 story of slaves who eludedrepparttar 140052 patrol by cunning and guile. A song urging slaves to ‘Steal away to Jesus’ could alert listeners to an upcoming secret meeting, while ‘Swing low sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home,’ might tell ofrepparttar 140053 possibility of rescue from bondage. Other songs about seeking freedom announced ‘people get ready, there’s a train a comin’,’ or told ofrepparttar 140054 ‘dark and thorny’ pathway ‘beyond this vale of sorrow’ leading to ‘de fields of endless days.’ Old Testament stories of deliverance from bondage andrepparttar 140055 triumph of good over powerful evil often providedrepparttar 140056 themes for slave songs. The walls of Jericho that Joshua destroyed became a surrogate forrepparttar 140057 bonds of slavery. The message was subtle, butrepparttar 140058 words, musical inflection, pitch, and tone toldrepparttar 140059 story ofrepparttar 140060 slave’s suffering and determination to be free.” (12 & 13)

Author of Diverse Druids Columnist for The ES Press Magazine Guest 'expert' for WOrld-Mysteries.com

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