TheBabyElephantAs a kid growing up in a shack in the mountains, and having read all the Tarzan books, I developed a growing fascination with Africa and elephants. I was constantly bringing home wild animal pets—crows, hawks, squirrels, raccoons, dove, opossums, skunks. . . But what I wanted more than anything was to add a baby elephant to the menagerie. Mom merely shook her head and sighed.

Finally, years later, I made it to Tanzania in equatorial Africa. A Swahili friend, Blessing Boy (that’s his true name), took my son Darren and me out to find wild elephants. Seeing the mamas and their beautiful babies did it.

“I want to take a baby elephant back with me to my ranch in Oklahoma,” I proposed.

Blessing Boy stared at me. I couldn’t be serious. “How you get him there?”

I had a plan. “What I’ll do,” I explained Soto-voiced, “is dress it in a big loose Mumu, a bonnet, a purse, put lipstick and makeup on its face, buy a passenger’s ticket, and tell Airport Security she’s my wife.”

Blessing Boy really stared at me now, speechless, unable to process the image. “You can’t do that!” he finally exclaimed and burst out laughing.

“Sure I can. Americans have gotten so looney with political correctness that authorities won’t dare object. If my wife identifies as an elephant, they won’t dare be insensitive enough to challenge her.”

I did, in fact, bring an elephant back to the U.S. The day I left Tanzania, Blessing Boy surprised me with a miniature elephant—carved out of wood.

Author/photographer/adventurer Charles W. Sasser has published over 60 books, thousands of magazine articles, and has traveled every continent on the globe except Antarctica. But that’s next.