Elephant Story

The Day The Elephants Escaped.

As told by Wayne Muir

Talking with my brother and sister I have managed to get a better understanding of where the elephants travelled on their little escapade.

As the circus was across the road from school this would have been the starting point of their small but interesting flight (if elephants could fly) of freedom.

Vanderwal’s owned the farm behind the school at this time and the elephants made their way up their lane. They spent some time on the farm, damaged quite a few fences along with a romp in the crop paddock.

After this they worked their way across to the bush behind Ennis Avenue at the junction with Dowbiggin Street.

I am not quite sure how they made their way back around to Foster Street, they may have come back across to New Bed Road but by the time I joined in the chase there was only one elephant. The other one must have been caught somewhere near the circus.

I can remember following the elephant through the paddocks between the Catholic Cemetery and Sunnyside Road making their way towards Sykes’ bush, now the sanctuary. I don’t remember climbing any fences along the way, maybe the elephant made a clear path.

Us kids learnt a lot of new words that day. The elephant trainer was not a happy chappie. He not only had the worry of a runaway elephant but also a stream of kids and grown ups to contend with.

Just how long we spent in this area or how much further up Sunnyside Road we could have travelled this is where the elephants run of freedom finished. We all marched proudly behind the elephant as it was led back to the circus.

Talking with Jack Wright some years ago this subject came up. (The house we owned in Railton was build by Jack) Jack was the milkman in those days. He had a cool store as part of his garage carport at 89 Foster Street.

He was telling me of the day he was in the cool room sorting the next day’s supply when he heard a funny noise behind him. Turning around he saw his goat Billy, normally tethered down the driveway, standing by the door. Billy was shaking uncontrollably. “What’s the matter Billy,” Jack said.

When he stepped out of the cool store to check on Billy, there was a large elephant staring at him under the carport roof. The elephant moved on from Jack’s place. This was about the area I caught up with the elephant chase.

Wayne Muir