An Elephant Story

Sometime in the late 1940's or early 1950's, a circus came to Melita. The moving equipment was quite modern for the time, with semi-trailers and trucks. On the way to the next stop, one of their trucks became hot and stopped for water just across from Jack Olson's farm.

The highway at that time was quite boggy in this area and while getting water, the truck settled and became stuck.

The next morning the circus men returned with two elephants in another van and attempted to pull the truck out. The two elephants were harnessed with wide heavy belting around the front and over their backs complete with tugs. They couldn't pull it straight out so decided to turn it around on the highway. By doing so, the back end of the trailer literally disappeared in the mud - almost covering the back tires.

In the process, the elephants had broken their harness and tried to no avail to push it out with their heads.

By this time, a semi-truck, owned by Anglo Canada, Brandon, and loaded with fuel, arrived on the scene. The truck couldn't get past on the road, so it also tried to help pull the circus truck out.

They were hooked up with the fuel truck backing up. The elephant trainer got one of the elephants to push on the front bumper of the fuel truck. In the process the bumper was pushed back tight on the front tire.

Jack Olson then came out with his 22-36 International tractor on steel and pulled the bumper off the tire, so the fuel truck could move. He then hooked on the back of the fuel truck and with one elephant pushing on the side of the circus truck and one on the rear they finally got it out.

One could not help, but be amazed at the intelligence of these animals and their tremendous power. Now, when this fellow with the fuel truck from Brandon returned home and told his bosses that an elephant had bent his front bumper, they accused him of drinking. I was hauling fuel from Brandon at this time as well, and on the next trip the other driver said, "Boy, am I glad to see you! Come over to the office." When we got there he said, "Now, tell these fellows about the elephants - they don't believe me."

All I had to say was, "What elephants???" to start the fun.


Written by Jerry Drier Edward History Book Committee. Harvests of Time. Altona. Friesen Printers, 2003