Sometimes in life you just throw out phrases without thinking of the consequences. For example: My friend Veronica, in the middle of an argument about who did what way back in High School, suddenly yelled at me “You’re a damn elephant you are, never forget anything!!”

Now you think this would be an innocuous statement in itself not a portent of the future. Yet, the next morning I awoke in a new pachydermous skin. My skin was grey and saggy, my nose had a distinctly trunk like appearance and my ears flapped in the breeze. I had a craving for peanuts. No one seemed to notice, which proved my theory that we humans never really look beyond ourselves.

As I swayed my way to work I felt the need to trumpet to the world. I’m big!! I’m a pachyderm!! I’m beautiful!! I managed to stop myself concerned that I’d be taken away and locked up.

So, everyday I became a little more elephantine. As no one seemed to notice I became more comfortable in my new pachydermous skin. I worried less and less about my appearance. I found that my students listened to me more as my classroom had become a place of fun. My elephant self was quite mischievous. My students laughed a lot.

One day a travelling circus arrived in town. I tried to resist but the lure was too strong. I went to talk to the two elephants tethered in the field next to the main tent and introduced myself as a fellow pachyderm. Have you ever heard an elephant laugh??? I did, that day. They scoffed at my stupidity.

I ran home crying, gazed tearfully into the mirror and saw that they were right, I was only human.

After I was diagnosed with pachydermatitis I switched careers, became an elephant handler with the circus.

Copyright April 2013


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