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Bill Dollear

Bill DollearBill Dollear

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Bill Dollear wkdollear@comcast.net

(feel free to e-mail me, I love e-mail’s)                             

The Great St. Louis Elephant Escape Escapade

          You don’t often hear about elephants in St. Louis, Missouri.  You might hear elephant references, such as:  “He is a big as an elephant.”    Or:  “This waitress moves as slow as an elephant.”  Or:  “He has the memory of an elephant.”  But it is a rare event to hear someone say, “Look at those elephants!”

          That is exactly what many people were saying on one particular day.  The circus was in town!  All the St. Louisians were all aflutter and aclapping and just generally happy.

          “This gives us something else to look at besides the Arch!” they said. 

          The circus people, though, were not as happy.  The trip from up north did not go well.  They were robbed and snowed in and cold in Chicago. 

          The three circus elephants were especially unhappy.  Their trunks were down.  Their attitudes were morose.  One boy in Chicago threw a rock at one of them.  He hit him in the eye. 

          “I wish that boy was within striking distance,” Albert the elephant said. 

          It was one thing for their trainer to whip them in the butt, but to have a child throw a rock at them, and that kid be a good thrower, that was almost too much.  But what could they do? 

Back in Africa at one time they were tranquil but then tranquilized and brought across an ocean to this funny land.  Then forced to do funny things.  They were rewarded with peanuts and hay and something called hamburgers if they sat on a chair or if they walked on two legs.  But if they did not do this when the man with the hat said so, they were whipped.   

          They were fed though.  And that beat having to hunt for food and eat off trees all the time. 

          The chains hurt their ankles.  That is why they were usually happy during the shows because that meant no chains.  Even though people were told not to throw food at them, most people did. 

          Albert liked the apples.  Sam enjoyed the pizza.  Boo liked anything. 

          They did not like their names but they were in no position to change them.

          “Boo.  What kind of name is that?  I’m not a ghost,” Boo said.

          “Maybe we can scare these people away,” Albert said.  “Where are we, anyway?” 

          He peeked out between the curtains.  The two others joined him. 

          “Is that a giant McDonald’s?” Boo asked.

          They were looking at the Arch.  The circus was set up next to it. 

          “But there is only one Arch.  Are you sure it’s a McDonald’s?” Sam asked.  He was looking for a giant pizza place. 

          “Okay you lazy elephants, get moving.  And look happy this time!” their trainer yelled.  He had a long pole to poke them and move them along.  The elephants, however, did not want to move along. They preferred longing and looking at the giant McDonald’s, or what they thought was one.

          “Move it!” the trainer yelled.  He did not think they heard him even though their ears were larger than he was.  He walked up to Boo and grabbed the bottom of Boo’s ear. 

This put him within striking distance and Boo struck. His trunk swung and sent the pesky whipper to the other side of their cage.  He stood, but was wobbly. 

The three elephants walked out and went directly to the giant McDonalds.

The crowds moved back.  The elephants moved to the Arch and then moved back to look for the giant McDonald’s. 

“It’s not here!” Sam said. 

“Maybe they are going to build it.  They only started it,” Albert.  “We’ll have to come back next year.”

They headed back to the circus. 

“Are those some kind of elephants?” Boo asked.  “A lot of different sizes and colors.”

He was talking about the cars in the parking lot.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” Albert yelled.  No cars moved.  The people did.

“Get out of our way!” Sam said.

“Okay.  Stay there then.  And get trampled,” Boo said.

And trample they did!  There was no space for the elephants to walk around, nor under the cars.  So they walked on top of them.  The cars were no match for the elephants.  The sound of crumpling and bending metal and crashing car windows mixed with the screams and cries of the automobile owners.

The elephants returned to their cage.  They were disappointed that there was no giant McDonald’s.  They were happy, though, to learn that their trainer was fired.  The circus owners saw the scars from the chains.  They also thought that the elephants must have been very unhappy. 

The new trainer treated them with much respect and gave them lots of hamburgers and peanuts. 

And the show did go on….

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