“I had a garden in Africa,” the story begins. “The Tropic of Capricorn runs through these highlands, a hundred miles to the south, and the garden lay at an altitude of over three-thousand feet. An elephant ate it.”
Small town life in Txebthanjwe, a village in Botswana, is a lot like any small town in rural America: same gossip, same emphasis on church, same reliance on the land. Except that there are elephants-one elephant in particular, a big one, who may or may not actually be a witchelephant, or Satan himself, or something called the Sorcerer-Who-Cannot-Die. The arrival of the witchelephant is the catalyst for change in the fractured town, and by the time that the narrator-a white mercenary from the Revolution days-recruits his old comrades to hunt the animal in the bush, the question of the elephant’s origins has become an issue of life and death. But with elephants, as everyone in Txebthanjwe knows, it’s always a question of life and death. And ivory.
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