Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/192

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162
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

car that animal was discovered sitting on his haunches and deliberately pulling the cord, and the elephant seemed to derive as much pleasure from it as a child would from a new toy. The passengers were reassured and the old lady was convinced of her error when she learned that the spirit form that pulled the cord weighed about three tons.

In India where elephants are kept at all military barracks for transportation purposes, it is no uncommon thing for the officers to leave their children in the elephants' charge for hours together, the huge animals taking the most tender care of their little friends. Elephants have a great dread of rodents and even insects. The presence of a rat or mouse will greatly excite them, and even the gnats or fleas annoy them exceedingly.

One of our largest elephants took quite a fancy to the son of a rider, and the boy used to spend every afternoon in the menagerie lying on the hay close to the animal. The lad never displayed the slightest fear, and the elephant invariably showed its pleasure when its pet came inside the inclosure. It would entwine its trunk around him and gently draw him close, then settle back in a recumbent position, allowing the child to take whatever