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The Horse and the Elephant

John is a nature and animal lover. He now has cats, a dog, hens, and various backyard visitors.

A ceramic elephant plant stand and wooden horse that I sketched using colored pencils.

A ceramic elephant plant stand and wooden horse that I sketched using colored pencils.

The Horse and the Elephant

Horse

The horse said to the elephant,

"You are so big and strong.

I envy you your awesome power,

And your trunk's so very long."

Elephant

"But, you are graceful, sleek and swift,

You race for great prestige.

I'd like to be so stately,

You are a lovely steed."

Horse

"Well, humans use me for their sport,

To ride, or race if able.

When I am not in their use

I'm locked up in a stable."

Elephant

"I hate my large and floppy ears,

My trunk drags on the ground.

I'd love to have a tuneful voice,

Not this loud trumpet sound."

Horse

"You have the freedom of the plains

To run and play at will,

The largest animal on land,

Your tusks are cool as well."

Elephant

"Our freedom's not all as it seems,

We're sought by men with guns.

They kill us for our ivory,

Or just for sporting fun."

Horse

"It seems that we both can relate,

Mankind's obsessed by sport

That cruelly exploits animals.

This practice must be fought."

Elephant

"So, let all animals unite

Against the plight we face.

Humans are just one of us,

This treatment's a disgrace."

Horse

"I'd love to join with you my friend

To carry out this plan,

But sadly I'm a wooden horse

And you're a mere plant stand."

© 2019 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 17, 2019:

Thank you Verlie, I thought long and hard how to do that. I wanted to use my drawings in some way..then it just came to me. Glad it worked.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on July 17, 2019:

Aww, what a sweet poem! Fits like a glove with your still life drawing. I enjoyed how you brought the figurines to life, and shed light on their plight.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 03, 2019:

Lawrence, thank you for sharing that fact. I knew Clydesdales were strong, and when you think of it, yes ratio to weight I would believe that they are probably stronger. Glad you enjoyed the poem and can relate to the message.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on May 03, 2019:

John

Lovely poem here, but a little known fact is that in ratio to their weight, the Clydesdale or 'Shire' horse is actually stronger than the Elephant!

And the poem carries a strong message I can relate to.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 12, 2019:

Thank you, Peggy. Yes, I have always been an advocate for the protection of animals and respect their place on Earth. I am glad my words highlighted that. I appreciate the follow too.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 12, 2019:

Animals populated our planet long before we humans arrived. Your words admonish us to respect animals and not kill them for their ivory or abuse them in other manners. Well done!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 10, 2019:

Hi Bill my friend. I greatly appreciate your comment in regard to my artwork and the poem. I do fell that this is an important message for mankind, and what better way to deliver it than disguised as humour.

I too hunted in my younger days but being older and much wiser now feel guilty about that and have done my best to make up for those ways. I read that your own artwork had been accepted for an exhibition. Congratulations on that. It’s another string in your talented bow. I love the cat going to get his other arm tattooed.

Bill Russo from Cape Cod on April 10, 2019:

Powerful art work and a poem that packs two punches in a single verse: a left jab with a social message and a right cross with lively wit and humor. I enjoyed this John very much. As a young man I hunted, as did most everyone I knew back in the 1940s and 50s. Some time in my mid life I turned against guns, hunting, and even the racing of animals. I think that humanity must learn kindness to animals above all else. Only when the world does this, will we be on the path towards universal love and peace. I too have had six cats, two dogs, no chickens, but a few birds and a lot of brightly colored fish.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 09, 2019:

Dianna, I thank you deeply for the compliment on my drawing and for reading and appreciating the poem and its message.

Dianna Mendez on April 09, 2019:

First, your drawings are outstanding and capture the reader's interest immediately. I enjoyed the conversation between the horse and elephant. They have an important message for all to hear.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 09, 2019:

Yes, Jo, that is unfortunately true. Thank you for reading.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on April 09, 2019:

It's seems as humans we're always finding something to abuse.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 04, 2019:

That's great to hear Shauna. I support the World Wildlife Foundation too.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 04, 2019:

John, I'm an active member of Defenders of Wildlife. If all I do is donate and keep up my membership, I'm helping save our precious planet.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 04, 2019:

Thanks Shauna. You are right in your observation too. Animals themselves may be helpless to do anything about the situation, but many humans,though empathising with the situation, are just too complacent to take action.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 04, 2019:

Thanks for reading Md. I am glad you found the format of this poem interesting, and if you learned something new that is even better. Cheers.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 04, 2019:

Love the message here, John. I can also see the symbolism of the wooden horse and plant stand elephant as human excuses to empathize but do nothing.

Velcro on April 04, 2019:

A very sound message in an impressively creative manner ....the poem in the form of a conversation and such a logical conclusion filled me with delight....it was such a great piece...I learned a lot ....Thank you for sharing John !!!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 04, 2019:

Thank you Venkatachari. I always appreciate your generous comments.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on April 04, 2019:

Very interesting poem with a great message to humans. I appreciate your muse and the sketches done by you.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 03, 2019:

Thanks for reading and commenting Hari. Glad you found this fun.

Hari Prasad S from Bangalore on April 03, 2019:

John,

A great message and fun poem. Thanks for letting us know your innovative way to trigger your muse.

- hari

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

Thanks for visiting, Shannon. Yes, we are just one species of animal, though many of us think ourselves superior. However, if you look at what we have done to the environment, our fellow man, and the forcing of other animal species into extinction, that is debatable. Glad you liked this and the message.

Shannon Henry from Texas on April 02, 2019:

This is so clever! And one with quite a message. I especially like the line "humans are just one of us." How very literal that we are also part of the animal kingdom. Also true on more figurative levels as well.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

MizB, I wanted to use the drawing as an accompaniment to a hub but had trouble working out how I could. It just started out as a dialogue between the horse and elephant but I wasn't sure the direction it would take. Eventually, I had a lightbulb moment, hence the last couple of stanzas and the ending.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

Thank you, Liz. Yes, it did start out that way and I wasn't sure of the direction it would take. I was pleased with how it turned out though.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

Hello Linda, my endings surprise myself sometimes lol. Thanks for the kind comment and I am glad my poetry is food for the brain.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on April 02, 2019:

John, I started off thinking what a cute poem this was, but then you brought me to tears in your last four verses. No matter if they turned out to be a wooden horse and a plant stand. I agree, this injuring and killing of animals for sport must stop. Pretty drawing. Your art shows your talent, too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

The mental power is called imagination, Elijah lol. Yes, like if the walls could talk. Thanks for the kind comment.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

I am pleased this gave you a 24 hour smile Ruby. Thank you.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

I am happy that you enjoyed this poem Lori. It was a little different I admit. Yes, I drew that. Thanks for the kind comment.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 02, 2019:

The first few verses reminded me of the phrase "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence". But the ending switches this poem to animal conservation and treatment. From your artwork it appears that writing is only one of your many talents.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on April 02, 2019:

Surprise ending for sure, and another drawing by Mr. Hanson. There are always several layers to your poetry. You give us much to think upon.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on April 02, 2019:

Wow, John, what kind of mental power do you have that hears the thoughts of two drawn animals. As a matter of fact, how do they have such knowledge of human's behavior toward all other life on earth?

I suppose it is like the "If Walls Could Talk", I guess they can by bringing to our attention just how imposing human are on all other life on earth.

A supreme composition to say the least.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 02, 2019:

Your rhyme put a smile on my face that will last all day, enjoyed very much...

Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on April 02, 2019:

Oh my gosh, John, total surprise ending. Hilarious. Most of the way through I was thinking the poem was depicting how we tend to be dissatisfied with who we are, wanting to be someone else who has it better, then it went into animal cruelty. It was a very clever poem.

Is that your drawing? It's very well done.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

Thank you for reading Kristin. Glad you enjoyed it.

Kristin Shay from Illinois on April 02, 2019:

Love it

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

Li-Jen, you got it. Animals are just as helpless as the inanimate objects..and at man's will. I am glad the ending was a surprise. thanks for reading and commenting.

Li-Jen Hew on April 02, 2019:

Hey Jodah. Powerful message in the poem. I didn't expect the ending lol. It goes to show animals are helpless as the objects. The animals complimented each other then realised humans have taken over. Good rhyming and poem. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

I don't really know what to say, Eric. As long as what I write touches those who read it, such as yourself, I am happy. Glad to hear you quit tracking for Hunters.

I look forward to hearing from Gabe too. Have a great day.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

Pamela, there is usually more than first appears in my poetry :) I am glad I got the point across concerning the plight of animals. Thanks for reading and commenting.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

Yes, Louise, the hunting and cruelty of these and other majestic creatures angers me. Thanks for the kind comment.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 02, 2019:

Alrighty then I am drafting you for my baseball team cuz you just knocked another home run out of the park. And I am a critic.

I was a tracker for a bit but quit doing it for hunters. Yuck. My boy tracked a coyote for about a mile Sunday.

John you know you will hear from that Gabe on this one. You just amaze life with your art. Muchas Gracias

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 02, 2019:

At first I thought the elephant and the horse were just looking at the how cool the other one was, without appreciating themselves. Then, you addressed the problems of the poor elephants being slaughtered for no good reason, and also the treatment of the horses and other animals. Your poetry spelled all this out beautifully.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on April 02, 2019:

John, I love this poem about the horse and the elephant. It is sad that elephants are still getting killed for their tusks. When will people learn? I found this poem very touching and moving.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

Harish, I greatly appreciate your comment. I have always been an advocate for protecting our environment and wildlife. Every animal species has as much right to live as mankind does. Thank you for your supportive and encouraging words.

Harish Mamgain from New Delhi , India on April 02, 2019:

Love reading this beautiful poem. The line , " Humans are just one of us " is a strong message to the whole humanity.

Sometime , similar thoughts arise in my mind why we put hapless animals to immense torture , and even killings !

John , you ' ve given a voice to all animals through this wonderful creation. A very creative and wonderful work indeed.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 02, 2019:

Thank you very much, Kamkar. I am glad my message was direct and easy to understand.

KAMKAR from India on April 02, 2019:

Great message in a very direct and simple way.