With the elephants more than any of the others, he thought as he left them—as he left behind these great beasts who recognized him when he came, who rumbled and swayed sadly—he could feel them waiting. He had thought at first it was food they were waiting for. Here they were, the last animals, locked up and ogled, who had no chance remaining of not being alone. Here they were, and what he had assumed in his smallness was that they wanted food. It was possible to be fooled by the signs of their animation, in the course of a day. But it was not food that interested them. Food was only a diversion for them, because they had little else.
They were not waiting for food, but they were, in fact, waiting. He had not been wrong about that. It was obvious: all of them waited and they waited, up until their last day and their last night of sleep. They never gave up waiting, because they had nothing else to do. They waited to go back to the bright land; they waited to go home.”
–Lydia Millet, from How the Dead Dream
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