A Wild Hunt


Wells Tower went on an elephant hunt, and then wrote about it for GQ:

The indescribable thought sensation was not this, but some tiny part of it was sort of like this: Before I saw the elephant get shot, I understood that there was life, and there was its cessation. But now I understand there is this other thing—dying, when death stops being an idea and becomes a thing that the body, if not the conscious mind, grasps in its full intensity. Watching the elephant die granted the illusory understanding of death’s grammar and meaning, as with an alingual child who hears five words and thinks he knows a language.

It’s worth noting that this is an essay in five chapters. Somewhere around the third, the piece escapes ride-along biopic territory, becoming a rumination on an animal’s being, until Tower delves into his own relationship with the hunted entities before escaping the African environs entirely.


Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →