Strictly No Elephants

One of my old co-workers just sent me this and said she thought of me the second she saw it…I must own it and hang it on a wall. I actually kinda started to cry because of it. Now on the hunt for the original source.


9 thoughts on “Strictly No Elephants

  1. I am also trying to locate the original source, and hopefully a print. if anyone comes across anything, will you please post here?? thanx!!

    1. In the beginning I found it hard to understand..but now, after seeing the real Getty image at the link above, where is written under the photo ” January 1927: A young visitor and her toy elephant finds that the elephant house at London Zoo is closed for their winter holidays.” maybe is somewhat clear…The girl had a big desire to see elephants at the zoo (she also owned an elephant toy ,seen on the photo), but, unfortunately this part of the zoo was closed (the real sign on the door on the original photo says “House closed”), and someone having fun from this made a collage with the photo, and in the end the meaning was also true, absolutely non possibility of seeing elephants ! Then maybe this image can be read as connected to signpost as this where the meaning of “absolutely no..” is “is prohibited…”. I Think the photo/collage with the girl plays with the two meanings, as we see the toy elephant and the writing “strictly no elephants”.

  2. I know someone named Lisa Mantchev who loves this photo. She has begun writing a story of sorts about them and I wanted to share it with you.

    Part 1

    The trouble with having a tiny elephant for a pet is that you never quite fit in. The other children on my street own dogs and cats and goldfish. The little girl at 22A has a hamster. There’s a set of lovebirds at 15B. But no one else has a tiny elephant.

    Every day, I take the tiny elephant for a walk down the street. His is a very thoughtful walk, because he doesn’t like stepping on cracks or bugs or twigs or leaves. He lifts his tiny feet and sets them down with great deliberation. I push the bugs and twigs and leaves out of the way with my shoe, but there’s nothing I can do about the cracks on the sidewalk, so every few feet he raises his tiny trunk and trumpets at me.

    It sounds like _Stop!_ and sometimes like _No!_ and not often but occasionally like _I shan’t!_

    I always go back and help him over. That’s what friends do. Lift each other over the cracks.

    #WIP #StrictlyNoElephants

    Part 2

    I walk the elephant to Number 17 because today is Pet Club Day and everyone else will be there with their dogs and cats. The goldfish bowl will be there, and maybe the love birds in their golden cage.

    I open the gate latch. My hands are cold and my cheeks are hot, but today is the day that I am just a kid with a pet like all the others so carry my tiny elephant from one garden stone to the next with bumps and heaves and oomphs and his tiny trumpet noises of _No!_ and _shan’t!_

    A series of three blasts sound like _Let’s go home._

    I pat him on the head and coax them the last few feet. “It will be fine. Come along, dear boy.”

    Except, when I turn around, there’s a sign on the rickety club house door that reads:


    And even though my arms ache from carrying him such a long way, it’s my heart that hurts and my nose starts to run when hear the giggles from inside the club house and maybe it’s hard to see because everything goes smeary with tears.

    My tiny elephant turns and picks his way down the garden path, pulling and tugging on the leash until I follow him. He ignores the sticks and the twigs and the bugs he fears so much to get me out of the yard and back to the sidewalk where we belong.

    That’s what friends do. Step on the scary things for you.

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