Author(s): Ralph Helfer
On a quiet morning in 1896, in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant were born. The boy was named Bram, the elephant was named Modoc. Bram was the son of a local elephant handler, and even as a child he showed signs of becoming a master handler. Modoc grew impressively beyond anyone's imagination--exceptional intelligence, massive size, and a gentleness surpassing that of even the kindest elephants. The two were raised as siblings, and when news came that the circus was being sold, thirteen-year-old Bram did the only thing he could imagine: He stowed away to be with Modoc. Weeks into their voyage to the United States, they were caught in a catastrophic storm at sea, and Modoc single-handedly saved the lives of Bram and thirty sailors. Taken to shore in India, Modoc and Bram were heroes to the elephant-loving Indian people. Their unexpected detour lasted many years, as Bram studied under the legendary mahout elephant trainers of the Far East while Modoc--fully grown and with Bram at her side--became a master harvester in the remote teak forests of rural India. In the 1930s they finally arrived in New York, where for the next two decades Modoc rose to great performing fame in the center ring of the world's most popular circus. Known as "The Golden Elephant," she was the only elephant of her time who could dance and perform without a trainer. Modoc was a major American celebrity. Then a tragedy stuck, and the lives of Modoc and Bram were forever changed. On a routine stopover between circus towns, Modoc vanished from under Bram's protective watch. Weeks of searching turned into years, but he never lost hope that he would see Modoc again... Modoc is an epic for the ages, destined to be a classic, and sure to be cherished by readers young and old. The Greatest elephant story ever told, lovingly recreated by Modoc's owner during the last twenty years of her seventy-eight-year life, Modoc spans eight decades and three continents. It is a tale of love, loss, and the deep spiritual bond between a man and his extraordinary nine-thousand pound companion.