Through the Eyes of Ernest
The purpose of this book is to raise awareness and educate the reader about the amazing complexity of elephants. And how we, mankind, have not done right by them. I also want to remind the reader that we have a choice in whether or not we keep elephants, or any animal, captive. The elephants do not have a choice.
Ernest’s story is a well researched fictional account of real life events. Ernest represents Every Elephant. There are currently three species of elephants in the world: Asian Elephants, African Savanna Elephants, and African Forest Elephants. For the purpose of this story, it does not matter which species. This book is about any and all elephants who have lived or currently live captive to man in North America. Elephants are not indigenous to North America and true conservation of elephants in other countries is approached differently.
Elephants are extremely intelligent, kind, sensitive, and gentle beings who experience joy, happiness, forgiveness, and love. They are also capable of boredom, loneliness, frustration, grief, and even despair. They function in a highly sophisticated and organized society led by an older and wiser matriarch. They are extremely social and help one another in giving birth and raising their young. Females stay with their families for life. Elephants communicate vocally, sometimes with sounds inaudible to humans and seismically through the ground. They honor their dead. When a friend or family member dies, the other elephants stay with the body and mourn. They weep real tears.
Elephants are everything we can ever hope to be. They are already there. We can learn a lot from our Elephant friends. If only we would listen…
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Born in captivity, Ernest has no idea about life in the wild. He has no connection to any of his wild relatives. His first elephant friend, wild born Frankie, tells Ernest about the pleasures of living in the wild and the close-knit family he deeply misses. Frankie’s stories of life as a free elephant sound magical, but hopelessly unattainable. Ernest doesn’t know what he is missing, but he is about to find out…
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Maybe you’re like me and have gone your whole life thinking that elephants live a charmed and pampered life in zoos and at the circus. Like me, you’d be dead wrong. This is a sweetly told story of the horrifying and tragic mistreatment of elephants seized in the wild and forced to live in the most inhumane conditions, many in the zoos that we find so amusing to visit. Ms McFee captures the heart and soul of Ernest and his friends in a way that makes it hard to look away from their desperate lives.
This book is a well written, emotional, sad, insight into just what and how elephants can think and feel in captivity. The author certainly understands the behavior of elephants sufficiently to describe events the way elephants probably see them when kept in captivity against their will. We [humans] are animals too. What makes us any different to the likes of elephants who are known to be sentient beings? Why should they not feel in the same way as we [humans] feel? The author highlights the terrors and physical abuse that elephants in captivity face every day from their all to often cruel captors. What they may dream of, how they get through each day, the hopes and fears of wonderful creatures whom we do not credit with being anything other than commodities for human entertainment. Also showing the joy of meeting old friends and their reunions. This book hopefully will turn the tide of our understanding of how cruel we [humans] can be without cause to such gentle, loving, sentient animals that naturally live in social herds and definitely not alone. I believe this book should be read by people of all ages; starting in early teens in the hope that our barbaric treatment of such animals finally be brought to an end.
Though a work of fiction, this story rings true. Through a first person (elephant) narrative, the author brings to light the cruelty and abuse these glorious animals can suffer, and showcases ways in which a reader can assist them in real life. An easy read worthy of passing around. Awesome, touching story! A must read!
This is a powerful story the author wrote to illuminate a captive elephant’s life to people, like me, who never thought about it before. In the form of a fictional story, she takes us into the world of zoos and circuses from an elephant’s point of view. And we finally begin to see how powerless and heartbroken these magnificent creatures become when forced to live in confinement and sometimes devastating cruelty. Ernest is the young elephant we follow from his birth to his adult years. We meet new elephants as well as their human caretakers, some loving and some cruel, as Ernest is transferred from one facility to another. We say goodbye to some, too. The author draws you into their world, which is filled with spiritual depth, kindness and familial love. Ernest will “make your heart smile” while talking about the importance of “doing elephant things.” While Ernest draws you through the story, it is the author’s portrayal of the matriarch, Eve, which so deeply touched my heart. There are lessons here beyond welfare of elephants. This book might be too literal for very young children. But what a powerful impact it would have on junior high and high school students to use as a basis for a research project, and hopefully as a catalyst to make a difference in their communities. Proceeds from buying this book are one way to help. But more important is to read and share it with others so we can all take off our blinders, change our awareness, and make a difference for elephants.
What a wonderful tale honoring elephants. Thank you Debbie McFee for your words of wisdom!
This book should be read by everyone interested in our relationships with other animals. It tells a story of elephants, exposing the tragedy of how humans interact with these magnificent creatures. She also shows how we can help them. McFee is a good writer with an interesting and compelling tale. Bravo!
Before I read this book, I had no idea about the needs of elephants and their sophisticated societies. Ernest really opened my eyes to the cruelty of zoos and circuses. A loveable character and reliable narrator, I couldn’t put it down! A must read for all animal lovers and non-animal lovers as well. Please purchase a copy as all profits go to Ernest’s friends and relatives.
If your heart is open to the gentleness of animals and their tragic intersection with humanity, Ernest is the elephant to tell you his story. He met tragedy, pain and sorrow at the hands of human keepers. But Ernest and his friend Maggie share the joy and triumph of freedom from their chains at the benevolent, loving hands of human saviors. From brutal mindless captivity to the blissful paradise they found, their story will enlighten and move you. I understand that all proceeds from this book go straight to support compassionate care for elephant preserves. No more captivity for these gentle creatures. This book belongs in every library everywhere.
This story will grab you and take you places you never thought possible. Ernest is a loveable character who seems so real he stands up on the pages. A must read for all animal lovers!
I may be a bit biased as I know the author. That said this book has been an education for me. It is written from the elephants standpoint and I became invested in the characters… Ernest, Maggie, Edward, Mary and others. It also opened my eyes to just how cruel we are to captive animals, not just the elephants. I recommend this book for many reasons. It is a great read and captures your interest. It also makes us aware of the plight of captive animals while we are doing something to help them as all proceeds go to help elephants to ge tot or who are in sanctuary.