The summer I was 8 or 9 my dad became friends with the Ringling Brothers elephant handlers. The circus would come to Houston for 2-3 weeks every summer and they would keep the elephants behind the Summit outside. My dad’s company was in the building behind the Summit and my dad would arrive at work early each day (usually at 4:30 am) to pick up the deliveries for the day. He would come and go throughout the day as well. My dad can make friends with anyone. He is just a very likable guy. After stopping to see the elephants for a few days and talking to their handlers my dad learned that they bathe the elephants daily around 10 am. My dad took me to work with him that day and didn’t tell me what to expect. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. For the next 2 weeks I was able to pet the elephants every morning; watch them bathe at 10 am each day (I usually ended up soaked because they would line up large outdoor type trash cans and each elephant would have their own. They would fill them with water and let the elephants play in the water while the handlers bathed each one. The elephants would put their trunk in the trash can and then shoot the water everywhere. Anyone around would get completely soaked.). They even gave my dad tickets to take me to see the elephants perform. I was so sad the day they left. For years every time we drove to my dads work all I saw was my pet elephants gone. Not many kids can say they spent two weeks with 20 pet elephants.

Disclaimer: this is not about the circus at all. Just a great memory of mine regrading elephants.


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