Ousmane was finally old enough to watch the cattle by himself. He loved spending his days on top of the hill looking over the savanna. He knew he had an important job to do.Ousmane´s father, Amadou, told him that the family needed the cattle to survive.
One hot, sunny day, Ousmane was standing on the hill watching the cattle. The were grazing calmly. Then Ousmana heartloud stomping noises. He thought a giant was coming. The cattle looked up.
Ousmane saw what making the noise. It was a herd of elephants. Ousmane was so excited. His father had told him aboutelephants, but he had never seen one. Ousmane liked watching the baby elephant with its mother the best.
Suddenly, Ousmane saw his father, Amadou, running toward the elephants. "Shoo! "Shoo!Amadou yelled at the elephants. The elephants started to move away. The baby elephants looked scared and walked close to its mother.
"Why did you scare the elephants away?" asked Ousmane.
"I like theelephants, too. But we need the grass for our cattle," Amadou replied. "If the elephants stomp on the grass, the cattle will have nothing to eat."
Ousmane was sad. That night at supper, Ousmane toldAmadou that he hoped the mother and baby elephants would come back to visit when there was more grass for the cattle.
Ousmane dreamed about the mother and baby elephant that night.
Early the next day,Ousmane and madou set out to find good grass for their cattle. They came across an elephant on the ground. They were shocked to see that the elephant´s tusks had been sawed off.
"Poachers," saidAmadou. "They take the tusks and sell them for money. It is against the law, but some people don´t care."
"Why would someone want to hurt the elephants?"
Ousmane asked sadly.
Ousmane and Amadou walkedon and came upon the rest of the elephant herd. They watched the elephant for a little while and then went back to tend their cattle.
Ousmane thought about the elephants all day. He wished he could...