Arkansas, Land of the Safari
It wasn't long after my first encounter with this beast, that Will and I, and his wife decided, as a matter of fact, today, that we should witness the resplendent Zonkey in the broad hours of daylight, and a few other bizarre animals. Will was just last night, bragging to me how he spotted an ostrich in a nearby cow pasture. I not believing him, (of course he didn't believe me when I told him about the Zonkey either), said that I would like to see this ostrich, and that surely he mistook an emu for an ostrich. This is a common mistake and could be forgiven. So it was planned for today that he, his wife, and I would journey via his car, on a safari in Arkansas.
However, a Zonkey and an ostrich were intriguing enough in themselves, there still was this one very strange rumor springing around inside my head to be sought after. I asked Will about this strange phenomenon, he flat-out denied its existence calling such an idea absurd. This folks is the rumor of a full-fledged elephant farm somewhere in the Ozarks. We searched for websites online, and sure enough there was one not more than an hour's drive outside of Searcy. So with our curiosity entirely enticed we set out north to see such strange circus animals.
We went by the outlaying lands not spotting a single ostrich, cows we passed, dogs we drove by, even turkeys we saw, but no ostrich. We finally made it to the designated spot of the elephant farm, but to our utter disappointment the gates were shut and locked and we couldn't spot a single grey hide or white tusk anywhere in the enclosed farm. Maybe they just false advertise making odd tourists like ourselves believe that they train elephants. We drove back to the front gate, and I demanded that we at least ask what's going on, having driven all this way for nothing.
I get out of the car, and approach the gate. I see this old man with snow-white hair and beard off in the distance, getting in his truck and driving towards me. He resembled this modern day Noah, who trying to collect as many elephants as he could, stopped at that...and then shut the world off, with his large gate, and just sat waiting for the flood to come. -And to heck with all the other animals and the rest of the world. As he drove towards me, I had to think of something good, something that may spark an interest in the old man, and him let us see his world of elephants. I remembered seeing on the website a classroom filled with students and then a list of countries somewhere in the writing below. I thought it to be some sort of school for elephant trainers. When he finally was within earshot, I sounded, a jolly good, British "Hullo". I then asked him in the best English accent I could muster up in such circumstances, if this was not, indeed, the school of elephanteering. I made up that word, hoping that it echoed with some strains of British vernacular. Old Noah, quickly responded very offendedly, "This is the elephant sanctuary." I, accepted his correction and then told him how I had heard about such a sanctuary at the college in Searcy, and I had to make a visitation out there. Because, I, being from England, have a family heritage there in Hampshire, my family dealing for years in the circus over there. And I just had to see these elephants. Of course, while I'm saying this, I'm beginning to realize that I sound more Australian than British. He then says that open house is this Saturday from 11 to 3. I saw that he wasn't going to budge even if I told him that I was Jack Hannah's nephew. I say thank you and then walk back to the car. I tell Will and Veronica what occurred. We drive back to Searcy, thinking that at least we now know when the times are open. As we are riding, we suddenly see the ostrich out in the cow pasture.
We then drive to Kinsett, to show Veronica this splendorous creature, the Zonkey. The Zonkey if you are not familiar with them at all...are half-zebra and half-donkey. This one in particularly has a white body with striped legs. We get out of the car. The Zonkey hops over to us in glee. I pet it, then Veronica feeds it some grass. Will stands over to the side with his hands in his pockets, probably afraid it may make him jump a little.