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Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived (original 1997; edition 1998)
by Ralph Helfer
Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer (1997)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060929510, Paperback)Modoc is the joint biography of a man and an elephant born in a small German circus town on the same day in 1896. Bram was the son of an elephant trainer, Modoc the daughter of his prize performer. The boy and animal grew up devoted to each other. When the Wunderzircus was sold to an American, with no provision to take along the human staff, Bram stowed away on the ship to prevent being separated from his beloved Modoc. A shipwreck off the Indian coast and a sojourn with a maharajah were only the beginning of the pair's incredible adventures. They battled bandits, armed revolutionaries, cruel animal trainers, and greedy circus owners in their quest to stay together. They triumphed against the odds and thrilled American circus audiences with Modoc's dazzling solo performances, only to be torn apart with brutal suddenness, seemingly never to meet again. Hollywood animal trainer Ralph Helfer rescued Modoc from ill-treatment and learned her astonishing story when Bram rediscovered her at Helfer's company. His emotional retelling of this true-life adventure epic will make pulses race and bring tears to readers' eyes. --Wendy Smith
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:07 -0400)
On a quiet morning in 1896, in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant were born. The boy was named Bram, the elephant was named Modoc. Bram was the son of a local elephant handler, and even as a child he showed signs of becoming a master handler. Modoc grew impressively beyond anyone's imagination--exceptional intelligence, massive size, and a gentleness surpassing that of even the kindest elephants. The two were raised as siblings, and when news came that the circus was being sold, thirteen-year-old Bram did the only thing he could imagine: he stowed away to be with Modoc.
(summary from another edition)
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