One Saved, Two to Go

Posted: June 30, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , , ,


Come to  باغ وحش تهران.”
The map didn’t help. Joshua couldn’t find one point reading باغ وحش تهران.

3 p.m. Don’t be late
He turned to a passer-by. “Time?”
The man made no eye-contact.

The bleat of horns, santour music, giggling women in hijabs,
and the sickly sweet smell of liver kabobs muddled his brain.
He couldn’t think, didn’t want to.
Action was needed. Now.

Or she will be sold to another.

Joshua spun in a circle.
A small boy stepped out of the crowd. “Need help, Mister?”
Joshua jabbed a finger on باغ وحش تهران.
“Oh!” The child pointed a finger toward a compound across the street.
“My favorite place.”

Joshua dodged through traffic, between the gates, down a concrete pathway.
When handed the money, Garshasp grinned.
“Almost too late. Almost.”

Tomorrow Eram Park Zoo’s elephant compound would be minus one baby.
Still, Joshua’s work had just begun.


When I saw the Google map of Tehran, I thought, “Heck, why not just use the map itself for today’s What Pegman Saw?” My eyes focused on the Eram Park Zoo and an idea spun out from there. While visiting their website, I felt really sad about the animal’s environments and wished I could free every one of them. I’m sure the caretakers are kind and do the best they can, but the animals don’t look very happy.

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  1. prior.. says:

    such a beautiful idea to highlight the zoo – and the power of One. Go Joshua, go.

    I liked the vibe of these two phrases:

    Action was needed. Now.
    Almost too late. Almost.

    balanced – and then this line made me feel like I could read this aloud to children and keep them riveted:

    Joshua dodged through traffic, between the gates, down a concrete pathway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent story. I can’t imagine the next step for smuggling an elephant.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a similar thought, too, Lish – re the map idea not the zoo story – twice in a week now me and thee on similar orbits. I am glad you were saddened into action. And show so much compassion this tale, which is so uniquely delivered. I am blowing my trumpet. I never do that for myself!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, thanks for blowing that trumpet! I can almost hear it. I must get over to read your story ~ after snarfing down the waffles my husband is making us for breakfast. Wish you could come share them with us. Have a great Sunday. Lish

      Liked by 1 person

  4. k rawson says:

    Go Joshua, go! I’m sad to hear of the conditions in the zoo but I love the tale it inspired. Tense and uplifting!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A compelling story, Alicia, I felt hooked from the first sentence. I like the way you lead us to point where you reveal the elephant abduction. Guess zoos reflect the culture of the country which doesn’t value people, let alone animals.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. pennygadd51 says:

    Great story, Lish! Super plot, realised with verve. Like Yvette, I enjoyed the way you balanced “Action was needed. Now.” with “Almost too late. Almost.” In fact I loved the way you handled your sentences, with almost the whole piece being in short, to-the-point sentences, except for where Joshua is lost, when you describe his surroundings with a long, multi-phrase sentence. That works really well at conveying his sense of confusion, with all the sensory input coming at him packed in a single sentence.
    Really good piece of work – one of your best!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 4963andypop says:

    I thought for the first few paragraphs that this was a story about human trafficking. I was relieved that it was an elephant not a human that was the reason for the visit, and that the purpose was most humane.

    Liked by 2 people

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