Parker and Fricke were playing in the backyard when a plane flew over our heads pulling a sign announcing the arrival of the circus this weekend. The sign included a picture of an elephant wearing an oversized orange hat in the shape of WW1 soldiers helmet, the Elephant’s eyes were covered. Parker and Fricke wondered why Elephants would be in circuses in the first place and I tried to explain the ad to them. I found their new friends, Little Fred a one year old Pachyderm and his mother Ms. Frederika performing stupid tricks and being prodded with an electric bull hook at a dumpy road side circus in the tiny minded village of Simpleton. Horrified of their living arrangement I invited them to stay at our house after one of the circus “hands” made the mistake of coming between Ms. Freddy and her frightened Little Fred. While Parker and Fricke played hide and seek with Little Fred I put down the latest issue of “Elephant Today” and drifted off for a nap, when the silence was broken with the trumpet of – Ms. Fredericka who waved two dozen sandwiches in her trunk, a call to her calf to "come and get it!" ( lunch time ).
Not at all startled I was about to doze off in the hammock and pick up where my dream left off with "007" when---- I felt an irritating pudgy finger poking my shoulder.
“Hello My Dear It’s Marjorie, yoo hoo, are you awake? There is something I wish to speak with you about and it won’t keep!" ( it was hefty Mrs. Buzzie, one of my oldest, nosiest neighbors snooting down at me )
Roused from ( and hoping to return to ) my slumber ( and film debut with Bond ), I nearly tumbled on to the ground and I replied:
“No Mrs. Buzzie I am not awake I am with "007" what is it I can help you with?”
“Well some of us have been talking and we wondered when are your guests leaving?”
“My guests?” ( I hadn’t the slightest idea what she was talking about )
“I don’t think I know what you mean?” ( I said smiling blinking my eyes as if I had something in them )
“Your Pachyderm friends - when are they departing for the circus? It’s in town you know” ( she grimmeled, put her tongue in her cheek, and forced a half smile )
“Oh you mean the Elephants - I see, well Mrs. Buzzie I don’t really know? They haven’t said and I haven’t asked for a departure date, that is – I mean, I have an obligation to them and well certainly the garden is big enough for mother and calf to stay for a while I have three acres!”
“But you see My Dear ( she always addressed me as “dear” never Alyssia ) those animals will start to eat the foliage on my property too ( she put her handkerchief to her always runny nose and blew ) and those “paddys” as you call them, they produce that awful smell why that stench is over whelming and those toots of the horn at all hours with those trunks, My Dear really!” ( she folded her hands across her chest ).
“Mrs. Buzzie, Elephants are wondrous beings – yes they are a little bigger than most but so is their capacity to reason, remember and understand human beings. I could not wait to go to the circus when I was little but then I grew up and found out about the abuse, neglect and indifference Elephants ( Lions, Tigers Bears, Horses and Seals ) endure, performing in fear and on drugs! The time for the circus has come and gone. Besides I like having the Elephants around they have become fast friends with Parker and Fricke, Ms. Frederika has got a great sense of humor and the neighborhood kids just love them!”
She cleared her throat ( of what sounded like something very green ) stood straight up and shouted as she walked away:
“This is not the last of it you, you elephant aficionado!” ( she stepped in a freshly made dung paddy ) I’ll be back and those pachyderms will be back in the ring where they belong - I will return triumphant” ( Little Freddy tickled her with his trunk as she stumbled by him ).
I laid back down in the hammock covered my chest with Elephant Today and went back to my dream with 007 – as I drifted off I could see a little tail wagging as I heard Little Freddy nuzzle against his mother smiling, happy to have finally found a home:)
Elephants belong in the wild not in the circus or a zoo. Established companies such as Ringling Bros and smaller roadside circuses can not survive without ( generational ) financial support from people like you . Keep your money where it can most hurt circus proprietors, in your pocket! The Elephants would do it for YOU!