So this story is a production of one of my friends, who wishes to remain anonymous. But, yesterday I said I was bored and this friend proceeded to fabricate this lovely story about an elephant named Hanolo! Please enjoy :)
Once upon a time there was an elephant, born in the heart of Africa amongst a tribe of warrior elephants. This tribe looked after the herbivores for they had the meanest ivory tusks in the land. However, when little Hanolo was born, he only had one and a half. His father was the greatest elephant warrior the tribe had ever raised and little Hanolo was proud to come from such greatness. Yet, he knew that he would never be the warrior his father was. The tribe often left Hanolo out of their daily training because he could not be trusted to protect his fellow creatures from the evil African hunters who were after the magnificent tusks of the elephants.
Hanolo accepted his fate early on because although he was brave and fearless like his father, he loved to explore the vast savannah in search of new food to please his palate. This earned him the title of tribe chef and everyday he was responsible for going out to collect dinner for the entire tribe. Everyone loved his cooking for its masterful blend of common plants to produce new unique and exciting flavors for who would have thought to mix bermuda grass with river bushwillow and accent it with a branch of acacia? Only Hanolo that’s who!
Life was good for the tribe and they lost very few in the years for they fought as a single impenetrable unit.
But one day, while Hanolo was out, he saw the hyenas leading a group of hunters up a hidden passage way kept secret by the UAA (United Animals of Africa) for centuries. This pass led the hunters to a cliff overlooking the small village of the elephant tribe.
“An AMBUSH?!?!”, thought little Hanolo.
Oh nooooo! He had to do something for it was almost dinner time and he knew the tribe would be heading back soon only to walk into a trap; defenseless against their attackers from above. So Hanolo came up with a plan. He had watched the hunting men all his life and he knew their eating habits.
“Disgusting creatures”, he thought to himself.
Why would anyone live off of water buffalo garnished with jarrah and jackalberry? The flavors are hardly even complimentary in the least. He knew what he had to do. For all the hunters ever thought the giant pachyderms ever had to offer was a nice trophy. Hanolo gathered up all of the plants that he had found for the day making sure he had all of the right ingredients for his best offering and he began to make the trek up the hidden path following behind the footsteps of the hunters who were now quietly planning out their attack. His tribe was almost back and he caught his first glimpse of the men up so close as he came from behind them. He saw their silhouettes still and ready to kill against the fading light as the sun slipped slowly beyond the horizon. He had to act.
So Hanolo, never afraid of death because his mind was always on his stomach, revealed himself to the hunters and laid the food he had gathered at their feet. The hunters were startled at first and were just about to attack but they saw the stumpy tusks. He made a step toward them careful not to have his actions be mistaken as an intention of violence. The hunters watched dumbfounded while Hanolo reached out with his trunk and drew in a favorite concoction of his: a blend of jackalberry and elephant grass wrapped in some manketti leaves. He then offered up the same to the headhunter who had always had a certain respect for the creatures, as this particular tribe was some of the most dangerous game he had ever come across.
Hanolo then grabbed the sack of dried buffalo from the man’s hip and placed a piece on the offering. There was a deep understanding between them as he picked up the food. His fellow hunters watched, thinking the chief was crazy. One bite was all it took. The flavors swirled around with such elegance as they stimulated his taste buds in a way he never thought possible. Forgetting where he was, he suddenly snapped out of this trance by a cry from one of the hunters.
“!Xbele” (“they are here”).
“WAIT! These beasts have a gift”, he said. “Come see”.
As they each experienced what the chief had just eaten a moment ago they no longer had their minds on the hunt. It would be a crime to destroy something with such a beautiful talent. And they all agreed to abandon the hunt for the night thanks to Hanolo. As the hunters returned to their camp, Hanolo rushed to the tribe to tell them what had happened bringing the chief’s spear as evidence of his encounter.
Hanolo became the hero of the tribe and his father was very proud. Eventually the elephants and the hunters were able to coexist peacefully. The elephants would show the hunters new recipes, brilliant cooks elephants are, their noses could sniff out flavor in the aroma’s of food like no man could ever dream of. Hanolo taught his tribe how to cook for which they trained under his supervision each day before they went out for their warrior training. In turn, the hunters would go out and gather all the ingredients required by Hanolo. Soon there was a giant storehouse of all kinds of food for Hanolo to experiment with. For the way to a man’s heart is his stomach and because of Hanolo’s bravery and love of food, both tribes of warriors continue to live in harmony on happy stomachs.