Gomphotherium, Charles R. Knight, 1901 (The American Museum of Natural History)
Summer was the best time. The green time. The lush time. The sun drummed on the backs of the elephants, and the wind shooshed through the trees.
The vine grew in the shade, and Gomphotherium had come to love it. He knew how to find it, and stole moments from the herd to pluck its leaves from the trees. He was young and still had a taste for sweeter leaves, herbs and ivies that required detective work. His mother indulged him, though she and his grandmother kept a wary eye on his whereabouts. Last summer, one of the herd’s babies had wandered too far and broke its leg. The beardogs found her first.
But today, the scent of predators wasn’t in the air. The forest was theirs and the sunshine was warm.