Slowly a foot moved. Then the trunk. Then a loud growl shook the cabin. Deep and seemingly unending, it permeated every remaining inch of the space. Maia had no choice but to inhale the growl along with the stale air polluting her lungs. Ever since she’d awoken in this strange place, she had treasured every tiny clue about her new surroundings. This unfamiliar, faceless growl instantly became the most fearsome clue about her new ‘companion’. For what seemed like days, she’d survived on dad’s bag of peanuts that had survived in her pocket when she was taken. That morning she had been lifted high amongst the treetops after flying, flying, flying across the blistering savanna sky. And then nothingness.
She’d awoken groggy and disorientated. Her back was pinned against the rough wooden wall, face plastered to an expanse of dull, velvety leather that smelt of zoo. From this trapped position it was impossible to make out where she was. This had once been a place for humans. Maia could reach up and feel some kind of frame hanging above her head and the unlit candle in the corner taunted her. But this cabin now belonged to nature. At dawn, just once a day, when the air was lifted with heavenly chorus of birdsong, she allowed herself to think of her family searching frantically for her in a country formerly known as ‘holiday’.
Then the elephant’s stomach growled again and its trunk inched closer to Maia’s dad’s precious remaining peanuts.