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Modoc by Ralph Heffler

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Reading Response #1 Essay

Which character did you like best? Why?

Modoc by Ralph Heffler is a beautiful true story of the friendship between a boy named Bram and his elephant Modoc. In this book, the character I like the best is Modoc, because she is always looking out for others, is protective of the ones she loves, and is very persistent.

One great quality of Modoc is that she is always caring for others and making sure they are safe. In one part of the book, Bram falls very ill. Perhaps it is because of the strong bond Modoc has with Bram, but even before any of Bram's family members know Bram is sick, Modoc creates a ruckus in the barn to alert the family. Even when Bram is found and is being put in the car to be brought to the hospital, Modoc still tries to get a look at him. As stated in the book, "Mo stuck her trunk through the open window trying to touch Bram, rumbling all the while." This shows that Modoc cares about Bram to the extent where she always needs to have him in her sight. Her measure of love and affection for him is so much more than just a friendly relationship. It is so amazing that a large animal like Mo can have such a big heart, and is able to show that much love to a human being.

Not only is Modoc full of love for others, but she also defends the people she loves, even it means she has to get hurt. For example, when bandits are attacking Mo and Bram, Mo charges and attacks the enemy with absolutely no fear: "Mo never stopped. She ran directly into and over the man; the body burst, his blood squirting... Then with the blood still running down her chest, she came to Bram, encircling him with her bloody trunk, holding him tight. Her body trembled from the heat and exhaustion of the battle. Bram reached up and quickly and smoothly pulled the knife from her chest, her blood oozing down his hand." Even Bram, who has spent his whole life next to Modoc, is shocked to see this powerful side. Although the bandit had a knife, Mo knew she had to save Bram, even if it meant risking her own life. It is touching that Mo would go through that much pain for Bram without really thinking about what could possibly go wrong for herself.

Finally, Modoc is extremely persistent, and tries her hardest in any and all situations. This persistency is clearly showed when Modoc has to overcome the pain and stand up after having been sitting for a very long time. For elephants, they need to be standing even when they sleep in order for circulation to happen in their body properly. In other words, the task Modoc had to achieve was very difficult for her. However, with lots of encouragement and especially her own strength, she accomplishes this difficult feat: "She strained for all she was worth, and so did they, with some even getting underneath - a dangerous



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