High Upon The Big Gray Backs

by Duncan Jones

The tour continued moving
High upon the big gray backs
The elephants were sure and calm
And traced familiar tracks
Soon, “What was that?” they asked the guide
Who laughed before he smiled
Just the monkeys and their show
They say, “Welcome to the wild!”
The branches danced, the jungle screamed
Those hidden in the green
“They just like to warn the new
To keep your senses keen!”

The tour continued moving
High upon the big gray backs
The elephants were sure and calm
And traced familiar tracks
Then, “What was that?” they asked the guide
Who feigned to look concerned
“Just a deer or three or four
Come to see who has returned”
Ahead upon the jungle path
The antlers skipped on by
“They say, ‘If you’re not big and strong
Let’s hope that you can fly!’”

The tour continued moving
High upon the big gray backs
The elephants were sure and calm
And traced familiar tracks
Then, “What was that?” they asked the guide
Who grinned and made eyes wide
“Just a buffalo loud and proud
Says his strength is undenied
He likes to tease the elephants
And tell them ‘move along’
Pretends that he’s the baddest
Bragging, ‘Look at me! So strong!’”

The tour continued moving
High upon the big gray backs
The elephants were sure and calm
And traced familiar tracks
And then the tour slowed down a bit
And the elephants stopped, were still
And the jungle seemed to darken
And somehow even seemed to chill
“Why’d we stop?” they asked the guide
Who looked, his eyes now wider
The jokes were gone, just silence
And then he whispered … “tiger”