Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Modern Cowboy's Unusual Story

Bob Norris was just a rancher in Colorado when one day he received a visit from a fellow named Jackson who wanted to rent six stalls for six elephants. The man was looking to get rid of the baby elephants for $18,000 each.  And that is the basis of this story by Malcolm MacPherson called, The Cowboy and His Elephant. It starts with a discussion of the life and habits of elephants in the wild and when you get through that the author takes up the case of Amy who was the only animal to survive a "cull" in the jungles of Zimbabwe.

Amy ends up on the ranch with Mister Norris and they get acquainted over the next few months, and by this time, they have fallen in love with each other. Bob Norris eventually gets around to teaching Amy a couple of tricks and Amy's world has opened up. She gradually gets acquainted with the rest of the ranch and follows Norris and his horse Big Bob around riding fence and all the other things required of a rancher. And Amy plays with her new friends, a goat and the dogs and is considered well adjusted. Norris was an animal lover of the best type, having had a bear in his young days and always looked out for any animal on the ranch.

As time goes by, Amy gets bigger and bigger and could hurt someone without meaning to, she is so powerful in her natural movements and curiosity. Norris had been taking her to various schools to entertain the kids and teach them about elephants. Amy was just getting too big to continue doing this and he stops and has thoughts about selling her to a zoo or a circus to ensure she gets the continued proper treatment.

I have a first edition of the book printed by St. Martin's Press, an imprint of Thomas Dunne Books of New York. It contains a few pictures of Bob and Amy and others and the signature of Bob Norris but not the Author MacPherson.

Anyway, I'll leave the ending out of this blurb, not wanting to disclose it and maybe ruin it for other readers. And there is also a surprise, at least it was to me, about Mister Norris which I will leave for other readers to discover, too. After I had read the opening discourse on elephants, the story moved rather fast and ended all too soon. I really enjoyed this book.