Monday, March 8, 2010

Mag 4

The continuance of Magpie Tales. This being the fourth . . I offer this small fable. You can read the offerings of other writers by clicking here.

"What the hell is that thing?"

"It’s an elephant."

"Awfully small elephant."

"It’s a baby. A young one."

"Well why do you have it? You carry it with you all the time."

"It brings me good luck."

"Good luck! We’ve been in this damned prison for nearly 27 years! Some good luck."

"But we’re still alive aren’t we?"

"Sometimes I wonder about that."

"Have to keep on believing though. One of these days it’s all going to get better."

"Yeah, one of these days we’re gonna die and then it all WILL be better."

"Ah, now, you’ve got to have hope. Be like the elephant."

"Ha! How long does an elephant live?"

"They say it can live for some 70 years."

"Yeah, and how old are you now? 72?"

"Oh not quite. But I still have hope."

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Several weeks later – the guard opens the cell door. It is February 11th, 1990. After 27 years, Nelson Mandela and his cellmate are released from prison. Mandela leaves the small elephant on the sill of his barred window, smiles and walks out into a changed world.

It has been questioned as to whether this story is true or not. One fact is accurate. Nelson Mandela was released from prison on February 11th, 1990 after 27 years of confinement. The rest . . . is all my imagination.


  1. Wow!! Love-love the Mandela twist at the end. Brilliant Mr. C!

  2. Imaginative, evocative and very well done.

  3. That small elephant had to be Ganesh, the "remover of obstacles," you bet!
    What a great conclusion!

  4. Oh! Very clever ending! (That little elephant gets around.)

  5. I am grateful for all of your comments. Thank you!

  6. wow! love that ending. was wondering where it was going and it could not have been more perfect.

  7. Surprise ending....thought for an instant that it might be true. Great write!

    ummm......just a story, right??

  8. Luck is often a point of view.
    Well done.

  9. Love the beginning and the ending. Nice twist.

  10. we tend to lock ourselves in the the now...this imprisonment of a mental making can be just as consuming as that of a physical one...
    your work reminds us to LOOK for the next day...
    and does it profoundly.

  11. Very nicely told! I had a hard time with this one. You make it look effortless.

  12. I am a true believer! Good twists all around...

  13. Oh, you had me going there!
    Led us up the garden path very skilfully! Nice one!

  14. V imaginative use of the picture prompt.

  15. I loved it and the weaving of Mandela's release with the elephant....I too almost used the elephant as a lucky talisman but elsewhere. Very good twist!

  16. Oh, well done! I was thinking "Papillon" for a bit. I loved the Mandela connection and the disclaimer.

  17. I really appreciate the eternal optimism of this piece... well done... ;)


  18. What an enjoyable read with a terrific ending!

  19. magnificent --I could see his smiling face placing the elephant on the sill--a wonderful story and a lesson for all---thanks!

  20. Bravo! there is so much truth in your tale -- hope does keep us going even when it is our darkest hour that may seem like an eternity -- until . . .

    What is time anyway? Is it God's timing or our timing?

    Wonderful story!
    I am sure Nelson M. would attest to that.


  21. Excellent storyline. How luck from a little elephant caused the corrupted government of apartheid to fall. Good visual with the elephant left on the window sill. Dialogue did not give away the denouement either! Way to go!

  22. Nelson, now there's a man with patience and resilience. I wondered what American audiences made of the rugby scenes in Invictus? Even the rugby fans in Australia thought that clint had allowed it to go on and on at the end of the movie. Believe me it can be a much more entertaining game than that. As can American football my sone tells me - but I have failed to grasp the finer points. Nice take on the prompt.


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