Based on "the sacred literature of Buddha about his disciple, the Elephant Ananda, as related by Rudyard Kipling in his novel Kim," Joseph Slate has written a poem retelling the story with the setting of slavery. A young slave tries to run away but is captured and whipped by his owner, the Big Man. The Big Man puts a leg iron and chain on the young slave to bind him but it does not last. He wants to be free and he is determined to escape even with the iron cuff on his leg.
By dark of night he reaches the place where the other escaping slaves have gathered and he finds a young boy whose mother is dead. The others are for leaving the young boy behind but the young slave is determined to save this boy.
With the sound of the dogs ringing in their ears, the young slave carries the boy, finds milk and corn for him and eventually they reach "the Land of the Free." The story does not end there but I won't give the rest away.
E.B. Lewis fills the pages with shadow and darkness in keeping with the sorrow and struggle in the story. The light begins to emerge as they make their way to freedom. As always his work is touching and heartfelt.
32 pages Ages 7-11
Recommended by: Barb