One day, not so long ago, in a country closer than you think…
…A young mute South African girl named Pachy was kidnapped by an international crime syndicate and sold into a life of slavery.
She had never known her real mother or father and couldn’t remember where she was born. All she could vaguely recollect was the warmth of the sun on her face and the gentle breeze stroking her short black hair. Because she was shy and could not speak, read, or write, Pachy became an easy target for the greedy moneymen and eventually ended up working in a travelling circus as a headline performer by night and lowly labourer by day.
Life on stage was tough, the hours were long and the food was horrible, but Pachy was grateful to be alive and never once complained, not even when she was whipped and chained to her bed between shows for not doing as she was told. She had learned early on that the louder you are, the more you’ll get punished, so not being able to scream worked in her favour, but not always.
News of Pachy’s fame spread like wildfire and on her 11th Birthday a lady with tears in her eyes came to take her away to a special home for orphans and runaways. Words fail to describe the joy, relief, and sheer exhilaration she felt when she arrived at her beautiful new home and met other playful girls just like her.
It turns out that the now smiling lady and her passionate friends were looking for Pachy ever since she was a baby and had fought long and hard to find and rescue her. Even though she may not be able to express her gratitude physically, and perhaps too young to understand what really happened, she is now learning how to live free for the first time in her life.
Now imagine that the gruesome little fairy tale you just read is not about the plight of a severely abused human girl, but the true story of a magnificent African Pachy-derm rescued from unspeakable cruelty by a small group of caring, compassionate and heroic humans.
She and other sentient beings like her are no less real, precious, or in need of protection than any child you may know by name. Let her tale serve as a reminder that the only way we are all going to live happily ever after is by treating all life as precious, regardless of whether we give “it” a name, or not.
Featured image courtesy of Gregory Colbert