Trifecta: Who’s the Animal Here?

I look into her eyes.  She stares back at me, but the glimmer of life is gone.  The leathery hide covering her immense body soaks up the intense noon day sun.   Next to her lie another body, and another; their dusty carcasses strewn without regard on the parched ground.

I pull my hair back into a ponytail and wipe a tear from my eye.  I am here to help.  It won’t do to have an emotional breakdown, not here.  I’ll wait until I am in the air conditioned solitude of my trailer.

“How old do you think she was?” I ask.

“She was probably around fifty.” Dumaka replies.  “The others range in age from less than a year to close to seventy.”

My eyes move over the bodies to the smallest among them.  His tiny body is nearly lost amongst the carnage.

“Why even kill him?  He had nothing to offer.  What kind of animal could do something like this?” I say, the disgust evident in my tone.

“No animal lady.  Man, only man.  They likely killed the little one because he was crying.  Even at so young an age, they mourn death.  They know loss.”

Dumaka turns away and starts walking back toward the Jeep.

“Come.  The sky is darkening.  The rains will be here soon.” he says waving me on.

I look one last time over the lifeless shells, reaching my hand down to touch her face.

“I promise you that I will spend my life working to stop them.  I will find justice for you and your family.”

As we drive away, dust kicks up from the tires, and Dumaka and I sit in silence.  There is nothing either of us can say to erase the horror of the scene we’ve just witnessed.  As we near the first semblance of a road the sky opens up.  Huge drops pelt the canvas above our heads; the heavens weeping for the loss of the majesty of those who once roamed these plains.


333 words in response to this week’s Trifecta challenge.

ANIMAL (noun)

1 : any of a kingdom (Animalia) of living things including many-celled organisms and often many of the single-celled ones (as protozoans) that typically differ from plants in having cells without cellulose walls, in lacking chlorophyll and the capacity for photosynthesis, in requiring more complex food materials (as proteins), in being organized to a greater degree of complexity, and in having the capacity for spontaneous movement and rapid motor responses to stimulation

2 a : one of the lower animals as distinguished from human beings
b : mammal; broadly : vertebrate

3 : a human being considered chiefly as physical or nonrational; also : this nature


Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.

You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.

The word itself needs to be included in your response.

You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.

James Anthony Froude said,

“Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.”

I just don’t understand hunting for sport.  How can killing another being be “fun”?  I get killing for food.  Killing for survival is not the same as looking for a “trophy” to mount on your wall or getting a high by extinguishing the light in another being.  And ivory poaching (murder for money) is beyond disgusting.  Elephants spend their entire lives in family groups, mourn death, are highly communicative, and show signs of self-awareness and cognition.  They are killed for nothing more than an exaggerated teeth (tusks), for which other disturbed humans are will to pay top dollar.  It begs the question, who exactly is the the animal here?


Stay positive & love your life (even when something happens that causes you to lose hope).




Listening to-Queens Of The Stone Age – If I Had A Tail

Eating- Salad

Drinking- H2O

Random fact-  For some reason I’ve always felt a connection with elephants.  There is a gentleness to them that is beautiful.


40 thoughts on “Trifecta: Who’s the Animal Here?

  1. This just makes me cry. Man’s greed and disregard for life, no matter the form. Excellent take on the prompt. I only wish it really could be fiction.

  2. Very touching piece. Man being the only animal capable to destroy his own kind.

  3. This is beautifully written and so heart-wrenching. Fantastic use of the prompt!

  4. Heart-tugging story told so very beautifully. Well done!

  5. Ouch. I feel the loss too. What kind of animal is man that we kill for fun and sport, that we can ravage a species to the brink of extinction (and beyond) for our won meager gains.

  6. The theme and the delivery of it are so strong. I loved how tight and powerful the writing was, here. One of your best.

  7. This was an awesome and sad read.. almost like a documentary… and that make it even sadder..

  8. This was beautifully written, but so sad. I couldn’t imagine coming across such a scene.

  9. Like the phrase “No animal lady. Man, only man”. Good story.

  10. There is such a powerful statement in this. Very good writing.

  11. Reads like a piece from a war correspondent. What a terrible thing to have to witness.
    And the heavens weep – perfect ending.

  12. Beautiful and hauntingly sad piece.

  13. Great job – I love how you used the proper definition of the prompt word in a piece about actual animals. A sad and beautifully written story.

  14. I am so with you on this. Great take on the prompt. I will never understand it. One of my relatives recently set out to kill a bear. He posted his triumph on Facebook. I couldn’t believe it. It was the comments that broke my heart as much as the kill. His friends congratulated him, gave him a big thumbs up. I asked him why? How could he do it? I was the only one. So, so horribly sad. Great story.

    • I have relatives who hunt also. I don’t understand the “fun” in it. And then to stuff your kill so you may admire it daily, seems awfully twisted.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  15. This was heartbreaking. Killing just for sport is horrible, and serves no good purpose.

  16. Horrible how we human beings treat other forms of life but then if we can treat our own people like dirt,then these are mute animals!Your touching piece made me remember a famous movie from Bollywood(India) that I had watched as a child of 9 -the hero was an animal lover and has an elephant who is his friend and sacrifices his ;life to save his Master’s killed-I had cried & cried when the elephant died-there was a song then-a few lines of which means when an animal kills a human being he is branded as villain but today a man has taken an animal’s life-so how come the world is silent!

    • Wow! That movie sounds so sad! I can’t handle movies where an animal dies. I cry so hard.

      You made a good point, how can we expect humans to treat animals well when many can’t even treat their fellow man well. It’s quite sad.

      I guess we all just have to be the best we can be and hope that positivity spreads!

  17. Beautifully written, and powerfully sad.

  18. Thanks for linking up! Be sure to come back and vote for your favorites.

  19. i like the fact that you wrote this without mentioning the race, colour or nationality. this is universal. mourn the loss of a human being not a countryman, is what i believe. Murder of one human being is the murder of all humanity, is what Prophet Muhammad said.

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