Happy For The Elephants; Announcement Stirred a Memory

When I heard that Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey is sending their performing elephants to a conservation center in Florida, I felt really happy for the elephants. The 11 touring elephants will join 29 previously retired elephants. I hope it’s a good place. The announcement reminded me of a really bizarre event. I was living and working downtown. My friends and I were studying for a really big test, one of those exams that are so important we paid to take a “prep class” for it. I walked to work and walked to the test prep class. One of my friends dropped me off after class, so I wouldn’t have to walk home alone after dark. One night, we rounded the corner to my street and nearly collided with the big back end of a meandering elephant. We might have thought we were working too hard, but we both saw it — and it was an elephant, all right. We slowed, because we couldn’t pass; circus buses, trucks, and trailers lined the curb beside the auditorium. The elephant slowed to a stop and squatted slightly; it dumped a huge, steaming plop-of-poop. Whoa! Quick reflexes and good brakes — no harm, no foul. How surreal! We laughed and laughed. It was probably just what we needed! That, and a quick trip to the drive-through car-wash! Fact is — city streets are no places for elephants.