Tag Archives: elephants

2406.  White Elephants

One of the more interesting animals on the planet is the seal-devouring elephant. It is native to Antarctica and very few people have seen one. In fact, so few have been seen (let alone captured on film) that some people (scientists included) doubt their existence. However, being white against a white background makes for excellent camouflage.

Let me shatter sceptical foolishness once and for all: I have seen an entire herd of these seal-devouring elephants (maybe fifty or sixty) descend upon a group of seals and what a mess ensued. There was blood and guts and dislocated flippers and what looked like mermaids’ tails all over the place. After they had eaten they headed off somewhere – sort of south-south-east. It is not particularly easy to have a sense of direction in Antarctica as there is snow in all directions and the sun in summer goes around in circles.

It is believed that these elephants are descended (or evolved) from the woolly mammoths that stalked the wasteland way back. Where they learnt to hunt seals I have no idea.

After a report was published of my having seen a whole herd of them I was approached by a major zoo and asked if I would be part of a team to capture a young pair. The zoo already had polar bears in a special display compound and the polar bears could perhaps share their space with the elephants.

I regretfully turned down their offer. It wouldn’t work. I pointed out that Antarctic Elephants and Polar Bears wouldn’t cohabitate, and that conditions suitable for each are poles apart.

1458. Squandavia

From an alien handbook:

One of the more bizarre planets in the cosmos is known as Squandavia, although it is believed that some of the early interplanetary adventurers referred to it as Planet Earth.

Top of the food chain are what are known as elephants. They are the biggest land creatures. In the sea it is creatures called whales.

The most interesting, and most bizarre feature of the planet are the millions and millions of relatively unhairy four-limbed creatures that walk around on two legs. They are everywhere. Apparently the elephants and whales have them pretty well trained for they seem to spend all their time working. They make strange noises most of the time. They don’t graze slowly all day on their food as we do, but they seem to stuff food into their mouths at set times three or four times a day.

Some of their other habits are even more bizarre but we leave that to the traveller to be shocked by discovery.

It is not recommended when visiting Squandavia that you make yourself visible. These little relatively unhairy four-limbed animals are riddled with animosity. It is inconceivable to us that the elephants and whales haven’t got rid of at least a few of them.

If we ever take over this planet, and it seems not unlikely, the extermination of these relatively unhairy four-limbed creatures will be a priority.

Poem 21B: In praise of Hannibal’s elephants


Phoebe was stuck on her doctoral thesis.
“This,” said she, “will be my nemesis.”
So her tutor told her to study something relevant,
Such as “The Feminine Side of Hannibal’s Elephants”.

Well this thesis got her a summa cum laude
(She was not one to hide her talents under a shroud, eh?)
It was a marvellous masculine presumption to derail:
Proving that not all of Hannibal’s elephants were male.

Females are tough; females are strong;
Those who think only menfolk are robust have got it all wrong.
Hannibal couldn’t have crossed over the Alps
Without the aid of non-male pachyderm helps.

Phoebe took up a lectureship
As a result of studying elephant bits.
She discourses full time in Women’s Studies,
Teaching men how to be emotionally honest with their buddies.

There’s a wealth of inquiry waiting to be done.
Phoebe’s next article has already begun;
She researches you see, as well as teaches,
So she’s writing a paper on “Feminine Endings in Churchill’s Speeches”.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

788. Dorothy’s ornamental elephants


Dorothy wasn’t simply a novelist; she was a published novelist. In fact, four of her novels had been published, with satisfying sales, and a fifth novel was in the pipeline.

Dorothy had a special way of celebrating each publication. She would buy an ornamental elephant. She would spend ages looking at elephants in every shop imaginable to find the elephant most suited to the novel. For example, her novel Pansy the Panda was associated with an elephant made out of real bamboo (because pandas eat bamboo, silly). All that glistens was commemorated with a rather ostentatious, and very expensive, ornamental elephant from India.

It’s not that elephants had anything per se to do with the novels, it was simply an interesting and almost secretive thing that Dorothy did. And of course, she always had each elephant pointing towards the front door of the house, because to do otherwise could bring ill-fortune.

Another thing about Dorothy was that she was very hard to buy for. She was one of those people who either had everything or didn’t need anything else. Come a birthday, and relatives and friends were always in a quandary as to what to give her. But now…

“Dorothy collects elephants,” was whispered from Dorothian gift-giver to Dorothian gift-giver.

Today, Dorothy has one hundred and twenty-seven ornamental elephants. She’s thinking of commemorating novel publications in the future with ornamental peacocks or something.

To listen to the story being read click HERE!