When I was a little girl, my Bubby had a set of wooden elephants that I loved to play with every time I went to her house. I remember sitting in front of the fireplace, stacking and re-stacking them, balancing them one on top of the other in endlessly changing configurations. They were one of my favorite toys, mostly because they were so simply made, and yet so versatile.
Now, those elephants are on top of my dresser at home. Last year when I was visiting my Bubby, she gave them to me. I tried stacking them, but opening and closing my dresser drawers tends to knock them over, so now they're just standing there. I smile every time I see them.
I don't know what it is about the elephants that I like so much. In real life, they are hairy and wrinkly, and ugly, even if they are smart. Next week in class, I'm going to be teaching Orwell's "Shooting and Elephant", and as a pre-reading activity I'm having my students look at several images of elephants. One of them is an abstract piece, which you can see here: http://tomseb1.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/elephant1.jpg
I am in love with this image. There is such beauty and power in it, and the colors are wonderful. I'd love to have this as an extremely large piece of wall art.