How an Elephant Made Me Write

black elephant near trees
Photo by Venkat Ragavan on

It would have been the winter of 1979 or the spring of 1980, my first year at Primary school. One morning, we received a very serious sounding telephone call from a woman who worked at the school, she was not the secretary or one of the teachers. I won’t name her, let’s just call her the school busy body. When my mum put the phone down, she was – well I wasn’t sure if she wanted to laugh or not (I would have been aged four so I can’t remember), but seemingly the woman from school was telephoning around to tell all the pupils not to come to school today, because during the previous night, an elephant had somehow escaped from an elephant lorry (?) because the driver had taken a wrong turning and was trying to turnaround on the main road. I can’t remember, I think the reason we could not go to school was something to do with them having to make the damaged railings safe. NOW, I think it might have been the way the telephone call delivered this bizarre story so matter-of-factly, subconsciously I must have thought ‘wow’ strange things can happen. And I think this is why I write the way that I do, I always note and remember quirky little things that happen in life.

With the advent of social media, I did ask about 12 years ago did this really happen? Yes it did, and my Mum remembers it too. I believe the elephant was unharmed. The thing is, there is no zoo near here making the story even stranger. And I do not know what made me think of it more recently, but when deciding how the address for my latest novel ‘Curmudgeon Avenue’ should suddenly become vacant – well lets just say this is where I got the idea about the elephant, Deirdre…. oops can’t tell you any more without it being a spoiler!

To download your free copy of ‘Curmudgeon Avenue’ and read my take on the elephant story, follow this link to download it from BookFunnel

Happy reading! Samantha

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