The Elephant

The following is in response to Phillip Dacey’s “The Elephant.”

“We saw him then, if it was a him, after a minute or so push himself up and leave the highway to wander down the road leading into our town, a parade of firs on one side, a field of wheat on the other.” ~Excerpt from “The Elephant” by Philip Dacey.

The overall point to Dacey’s flash prose piece is that no matter how old and rational we become, sometimes what we really want to do is suspend our rationality and be wooed by the surreal. Though the young character Fay knows that there is not a loose Elephant roaming around the town she “wished she was wrong…[that she]…live[d] in the kind of house near which, at any minute, an elephant might walk.”

I admire the way that Dacey develops the characters of the speaker and Fay—how they imagined the elephant walking towards the town; how “the moon bathed his hide in milky light.” Not only do the two youngsters imagine that the elephant is real, they “talked about how he’d [the elephant] feel, perhaps a little frightened, but glad, too, released from the truck.”

I wonder if this is a true anecdote from Dacey’s past, for the wonderful imagination that he would have had as a child would be indicative of how successful of a writer he is today.

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About evinhughes

I am a graduate of Georgia Southern University located in Statesboro Georgia. I have a bachelors degree in Information Technology and a bachelors in Writing and Linguistics.
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2 Responses to The Elephant

  1. Philip Dacey says:

    Hi, Evin. Thanks for your attention to my poem. I wrote it as the father of Fay. She’s now 37 and a parent herself, so that was a long time ago. Yes, the poem is based on an actual walk and conversation Fay and I had on a country road near our house, then, in Cottonwood, Minnesota.
    Phil Dacey

  2. evinhughes says:

    Thanks for replying. I would have gone on thinking you were both young in the story, which now that I think about it the stories makes more sense with you as the father at that time. Anyways, thank you for responding, it is very humbling to be answered by someone who’s work has inspired me as a writer.

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