A Collection of Pachyderms

Someone asked me once, when I was about 39, if I collected anything, and my witty response was: ‘I collect dust’. The nonplussed person did not pursue the conversation with questions pertaining to how I display such items – or if I carry the material around wherever I go.

I’d seen display cases with ceramic vases or silver spoons, and had heard of rock and stamp collections, but never felt inspired to acquire specific items; perhaps the idea of maintaining records, or keeping them all dusted and polished was off-putting.

After all these years, however, I find that I’ve got a small collection of the largest land animal. Whilst living in Africa I became enamored with elephants. No, they weren’t traipsing all over the streets or uprooting plants in my garden—I’d read articles, studied photographs, and actually was treated to the sight and sound of these magnificent creatures on a few game safaris.


Upon my return to the states, the collection commenced, but mostly without any planning. First I painted a psychedelic striped elephant on a tee shirt for my older grandson. After that I did a huge pen and ink drawing of two elephants. Since then I’ve acquired a number of fabulous figures of my favourite animal. From a wooden model, to an elephant made out of old thong sandals, to elephants bound up with ribbons and beads, I can now happily claim to have a herd of elephants gracing my abode.

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