Tua and the Elephant
R. P. Harris, Taeeun Yoo
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Ten-year-old Tua—Thai for "peanut"—has everything she needs at home in Chiang Mai, Thailand, except for one thing she's always wanted: a sister. In the market one day, Tua makes an accidental acquaintance—one with wise, loving eyes, remarkable strength, and a very curious trunk. And when Tua meets Pohn-Pohn, it's clear this elephant needs her help. Together, the unusual team sets off on a remarkable journey to escape from Pohn-Pohn's vile captors. From the bustling night market to the hallowed halls of a Buddhist temple and finally, to the sanctuary of an elephant refuge, this clever girl and her beloved companion find that right under their noses is exactly what each has been searching for: a friend.
Orchid the actress. Now, I don’t know if you gentlemen are patrons of the performing arts or not, but that’s one show you really don’t want to miss while you’re in Chiang—Hey, where are you going? What about your change?” Both mahouts had just turned away from the vendor’s cart when Nang, who had been casting his eyes about for something more to eat, saw a small girl enter the market and elbowed Nak. “Is that your street urchin?” Nak turned in response to the elbow rather than the question.
Panting over the pile of cabbages. He plunged his fist into the mound, plucked out a cabbage head, tossed it over his shoulder, and began digging at the pile like a dog. Tua was clawing her way to the back of the pile when a pythonlike grip encircled her leg. Suddenly she was dangling upside down and staring into the right-side-up face of the mahout. “Gotcha.” Nak bared his teeth and snarled. “Put her down, you filthy brute!” cried a voice. Nak turned to identify the speaker, a stout woman.
Pohn-Pohn followed a dirt path alongside vegetable gardens, orchards, and rice paddies. Some women planting shoots in knee-deep water rose up from their work to wave straw hats over their heads. “They’re planting rice.” Tua waved back. “Rice paddies are not good places for elephants to take baths in,” she added, in case Pohn-Pohn might be tempted. They met a family of water buffaloes on the path. Tua bowed to the barefoot boy following them, then asked if he knew the wat they were looking for.
Leaves as big as an elephant’s ears. A swaying coconut palm stretched so high into the blue sky it made Tua dizzy to look at it. An orchard of banana trees lined one side of the path, and papaya trees stood at ease on the other. Mangos dangled from trees like gaudy baubles. Then they stepped out into a field of corn that grew twice as high as Pohn-Pohn’s back. Pohn-Pohn reached out her trunk, plucked off an ear, and popped it in her mouth. “Stop that, chang,” shouted a voice. Tua dropped the.
“It’s a hard life for an elephant, Kanchanok, isn’t it?” “Not so easy,” Kanchanok shook his head. “But they’re safe now?” “As safe as Mae Noi can make them. Come,” he said, “I’ll take you and Pohn-Pohn to meet her.” CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE A Raft on the River The motorcycle and sidecar turned onto a dirt track and followed a crudely made sign with the words rafts for rent painted above a crookedly drawn arrow. The track ended at a crudely made house on the bank of the river. Nak and Nang.