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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Arkansas, Land of the Safari

Rumors have been circulating around this small, quaint town along the foothills of the Ozarks. These are rumors of strange and exotic creatures surrounding the nearby farmlands. I knew of one such creature, and I can verify its authenticity. It's called the Zonkey, and it dwells over in Kinsett. I was first exposed to this rare, romping creature of fantasy zooland a couple of months ago. It stood in mystical delight, in proud defiance of any beastly conformity, that one might think of when one thinks of Arkansas. I can vouchsafe the strangeness of this land; I have traveled myself into the heart of darkness, and returned. "Oh, the horror...the horror" I cry out.
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.


Blogger Britt said...

I enjoyed hearing it on the telephone, the British accent has been echoing through my head ever since. These rumors that The Searcy Area hold seem to lure me in with a hope to discover more.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Brian Harrison said...

...Oh but you surely can discover more...if you were to come to Harding, next year. But I know your heart is set on Lipscomb.
However, I have heard that there are some stange mythical creatures around the Nashville area too. I was once told about the Dixon County Werewolf...I tend to ask people from Dixon if they've heard about it...they then look at me as though I am crazy. -And then one friend of mine told me about these small, kangaroo creatures that live and go hopping about the woods around Nashville.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Britt said...

ahh, this reminds me of that mysterious Covington County Hog Man. He has a myriad of tracks that have been spotted throughout the Andalusia area.

9:43 PM  
Blogger папа said...

Zonkey? I find this most interesting. Are they ridable? I noticed that you stated that this beast hopped over to you...are you sure this was not one of the very rare and nearly extinct Zonkeyroos? I understand the two are related, though distantly.

12:27 AM  
Blogger jackson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:34 PM  
Blogger jackson said...

I am not sure if the Dickson County Werewolf is actually a werewolf, but whatever it was that I saw in the woods, scared the pee out of me. I ran to my truck as quickly as my legs would carry me and locked the doors behind me.

In the Dickson area in Tennessee, farmers have found the remains of their cows, after something has eaten all but the head and bones. Mike Murphree and my father-in-law have both seen something tall and hairy walk up-right across the Dickson County roads. We may never find out what it actually is.


9:35 PM  

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