I Don’t Care About Problems… I Want An Elephant!


I want a baby elephant. Really.

It was YouTube that convinced me, with its adorable video of a little pachyderm gleefully chasing birds. And I thought it was only human children who did that!

You’ve gotta watch it. That baby elephant is so darn cute! He thumps around after the sprightly and clever birds under the watchful eye of his mother and then, just as she expected all along, he totally wipes out making a tight turn. All four legs go out from under him. Splat! — he’s on the ground. I have never seen an elephant go splat before.

Then, just like a human child would do in that situation, he hightails it back to his mother, who shepherds him under her massive head, which must be the little guy’s “safe place.” I don’t know if he was hurt or just embarrassed.

But it got me to thinking, “Why not get a baby elephant?” I have a big backyard and understanding neighbors, a garage for those inclement days, and access to hay. It’s completely possible!

He’d help me move heavy objects, like if my car was stalled. He’d give rides to the grandchildren, whenever they were extra-good. And, on holidays, he’d march in all the best parades. I’d sit proudly atop Little Jumbo, smiling and tossing candy to the children. My husband Mark, the former vice mayor of Wellington, would surely be amenable to walking beside us with a tasseled guide stick, turned-up toe shoes and satin harem pants.

We’d be the talk of the town. “Did you see Debbie and Little Jumbo at Publix?”

“I did. I think it’s wonderful how he waits outside, tied to that post.”

“Yes! And to see him towing that little cart full of groceries!”

“I want an elephant.”

“Me, too.”

It would get to be a “thing.” We’d form a club… the Elephant Owners of America. We’d all get together for play dates at, oh, I don’t know — Lion Country Safari? Or maybe the beach. Talk about buying sun screen in bulk!

Oh, there’d be haters, of course — jealous people who didn’t have the foresight to get in on the ground floor of the elephant boom and can’t afford one now that the price has gone up. They’d protest our parades and play groups and say that elephants weren’t meant to be kept in garages. Homeowners associations would receive complaints from people claiming that our peaceful pachyderms had a waste problem. The paperwork would be endless as we tried to invoke our rights. The press would turn against us. Inevitably, after years of an uphill battle, the EOA would wear out and disband. The pet shelters would be filled with homeless elephants. Concerned citizens would host fundraisers to send the elephants “back where they belong.” What a struggle.

I don’t care. I want one anyway!