E is for Elephant

Here is a photo of an elephant in our garden. I’ve cheated by knocking back the colour to make it less like grass and more savannah-like, but I’m kidding no-one. The elephant statue actually stands about six inches tall and belongs to my son.

I’m not sure where it was made, possibly China, but whoever designed it probably created it from an amalgam of images. It has the ceremonial dress of an Indian elephant, minus the howdah, but the large ears and tusks of its African cousin.

If you’d like to learn how to dress an elephant, you might want to take a look at this video taken at the Maharana’s hunting lodge. Udaipur, in March 2009.

Here is a photo I took of an Indian elephant at Chester Zoo a few years ago. The zoo initiated the Assam Haathi Project that works closely with local villages in human-elephant conflict areas in Assam, India.

Although my photo was taken in the indoor enclosure, the elephants have quite a large outdoor area to roam as you can see from this Google image search. A baby elephant was born there in July and has been named Nayan which means Eye in Hindi.

I haven’t yet  mentioned the elephant in the room — the phrase elephant in the room“. It was first used in its current sense to mean something obvious that is ignored in the title of a 1984 book, An Elephant in the Living Room: A Leader’s Guide for Helping Children of Alcoholics.

The very first use of the phrase was in the Charleston Gazette in 1952. “Chicago, that’s an old Indian word meaning get that elephant out of your room” although no-one seems to know what the author meant by it.

The two elephants in the room I haven’t mentioned are Jumbo and Dumbo. You can read about the former on Wikipedia and I’ll finish with my favourite scene from the 1941 Disney classic.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

3 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 18th August 2010

    I guess I am right to assume that every member of your immediate family has a well-thumbed copy of “An Elephant in the Living Room: A Leader’s Guide for Helping Children of Alcoholics”. You could always opt for a soft drink you know.

  • Wendy S. 18th August 2010

    I love elephants and fantastic post about all the different kinds of heffelumps (winnie the pooh)!

  • Polly 19th August 2010

    Thanks Yorkie, soft drinks only on the menu. Dandelion and burdock for everyday fare and Fentiman’s Botanically Brewed Ginger Beer for special occasions.

    Wendy, I forgot all about Heffalumps!


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