I started thinking about this the other day when Alex J Cavanaugh requested that we post an elephant picture for Dezmond of Hollywood Spy. I immediately thought of a strange elephant figurine that sits on my office bookshelf. This homely elephant has been around for at least five years I guess. I've rescued it from the garage a few times when I think my wife was trying to get rid of it. Now it resides safely in my office.
I don't really collect any figurines--not intentionally at least. I have acquired a few over the years as gifts or as found objects like my elephant. If I were a collector of any kind of animal figurines, I would probably collect elephants. Since I was a child I have always liked elephants. I used to like to draw them. The first elephants I ever saw were at the circus. I can recall once when my parents' car became stuck in the muddy circus lot, someone brought one of the elephants to pull us out. That must have impressed me. The old tent circuses commonly used the strength of the elephants to do heavy chores and to help raise the big top.
The particular elephant figurine that I have in my office looks like a very amateurish attempt at some sort of craft project. Someone has taken a very cheap plastic elephant figure and glued a multitude of tiny colored beads and mirror squares, many of which have fallen off and continue to fall off. I try to avoid handling the figure lest any more beads and mirror squares fall off.
There used to be another plastic elephant that had the appearance of being made out of jade. It was a classier looking elephant even though you could tell it was cheap plastic when you picked it up. On the shelf it looked like jade. That elephant is gone now. I think my daughter Angelina may have taken it home with her. It was probably hers to begin with. In fact, both elephants were probably something she picked up at a yard sale or in a thrift shop. When she was still living at home with us she used to pick up weird things to decorate her room with. Probably several of the strange things around our home originated with one or another of our daughters.
I don't think I can blame any of my daughters for this zebra creamer. I'm pretty sure this one was a white elephant gift I received at a church party nearly twenty years ago. So even though it's a zebra, it's also a "white elephant" and it is appropriate to include this photo today. This creamer is also on my bookshelf--no way I would use it for holding cream and it just looks weird enough to keep the ugly elephant company.
Dezmond, I hope you enjoyed my elephant pictures and stories. Maybe you'll start collecting elephant figurines and can show them off on your blog one day. Hopefully, they'll be nicer than the ones I have. On the other hand, mine have histories to go with them and mysteries to ponder, which makes them kind of special.