A Slow Procession of Elephants in our Foyer


We have a HUGE collection of elephant ornaments. Oh, my, what dust collectors, you might say. Oh pooh, dust is not important. I don’t care about dust that much. I care about having something to rest my gaze on that makes me appreciate beauty.

OK, once in while I clean them all off, washing them carefully, enjoying the feel of them under my fingertips, with their smooth humps along their backs and their lovely curving trunks.




And sometimes, as we rush past them with arms full of groceries, shucking off our shoes at the door, we might not notice them at all. But they are waiting for us, in their slow procession as they make their way, in a contented and yet dignified fashion, around the shelf in our entry . They are patient, they can wait for us to appreciate them.



I’ve never counted how many are in our herd. I’ve got them grouped in little clans or families. The Indian elephants, proud in their lush decoration. The silly and fun grouped together for a giggle. The browns and the blacks. The ones in glazed ceramic, (of course we have a pink elephant), the stone carved ones.

Ostensibly they are all Bill’s collection. The first elephant, the little stone one on the right below, was bought, by me, from a lady in our old Calgary neighbourhood. Her basement was perpetually set up for a monthly garage sail. The myriad of stock came from elderly people who had moved into seniors residences. It was a little service she did for them to sell their pieces of extraneous possessions that they no longer had room for. This little elephant, of carved stone, was marked in neat handwriting on a tag, only as “very old”, with a price of $6.  The large one in light wood behind it, with the little parcel/pillow on it’s back is another fave.


Since then we have both collected and added to our burgeoning collection. None is expensive, all are second hand. You may think that some are sort of sorry looking with their tusks missing, or a little gouge here or there. But it doesn’t matter much to us. Bill may replace some missing tusks with toothpicks now and then, but generally, we just enjoy them for what they are, little sculptures.



Each sculpture has been made, I always think, patiently and lovingly by an unknown artist, giving us the gift of his or her interpretation of this beautiful and graceful animal. And maybe a lot were made for the tourist trade but each is hand done, hand carved by someone on a hot and dusty day somewhere far away. Each one a little different from the last, each one with just a bit of the artist caught in its form or painted glaze. And I am grateful for their patient talent and feel just a bit guilty at the low price I have paid for their art.


Many of our elephants were gifts. Maybe for Father’s Day, or Christmas or a birthday, hardly any opportunity goes by to without adding another elephant to this very accommodating herd.

And as your eye has followed our little herd as it makes its way, you may have noticed a sort of confused looking giraffe that found itself in the wrong group. Or maybe you saw the tiniest little pig along for the trek. I don’t know why, they just seemed to want to be in the group too. The elephants didn’t seem to mind.



Oh and as for that silly superstition that elephants trunks must be up for good luck… well, all those silly things are made up by someone. No basis in fact ( or fiction). So I choose to make up my own superstitions (or stupid-stitions as I like to say) and have decreed that all elephants are lucky, no matter which way their trunks are waving.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do…

Of course, this is not our only collection.  We’ve also got a Heart box collection.  Will this collecting ever end?  I hope not, too much fun altogether.