Long, long, ago in a not-so-far-from-me place (Denver, 5 hours) there once lived a lonely elephant named Cookie

Cookie, 1954? Soliciting donations to Goodwill

The Denver Zoo is now very large and conscientious but when I was a VERY little girl the entire Zoological Park was this Asian elephant and maybe a couple of bears (not sure about the bears). She had a beautiful, new red brick house and a nice yard but Cookie was lonely. I don’t know the entire story of her background, but she was caught wild. The Denver Zoo says:

“In 1950, the Denver Zoological Society was formed and the zoo received their first elephant, Cookie. She resided in a small, red brick building with a small outside yard. Cookie was joined by a second elephant, Candy, in 1959, and a new ‘Pachyderm Habitat’ was constructed. It has since been remodeled but remains the home of the zoo’s current pair of Asian female elephants, Mimi and Dolly.”

My family then lived in Englewood, a suburb of Denver, and Cookie lived at City Park, not exactly next door, but my dad would take me to visit her, just us two. I loved those small journeys. I ALWAYS wanted to go see Cookie. It was my favorite thing. I am sure it was partly because I got to go somewhere with my dad and ride in the front seat with its steel dashboard and sharp bits (take that cautious and enlightened parents of today!).

Cookie wasn’t separated so far from the people who came to see her which might have been dangerous, but Cookie really was lonely and I got the distinct sense her “companions” for a long time were the kids who came to see her.

Cookie and Candy, 1960

In my memory, those days were always cloudy and usually cold. We could feed Cookie peanuts from a machine near the enclosure. I wish now I knew the back-story to these adventures. Why were we out there on our own like that? Were mom and my brother involved in something? That seems unlikely as my mom didn’t drive. Maybe my dad just wanted to go to the “zoo” with his daughter. ❤

5 thoughts on “Cookie

  1. it’s so interesting when we look back at our childhood stories with adult eyes and a bit of life experience. there are so many things I wish I could ask my parents about, but alas they are not longer here. I did have the fortunate chance to ask my mother about my earliest memory, which was an experience that didn’t end happily for me, and she when she told me her perspective, it made a lot more sense.

    • I was lucky to have had my aunts for such a long time into my adulthood for the same reason. There were so many things (my mom was a sociopath) that made no sense to me, that I remembered to have happened, but my mom denied. My aunts were very forthcoming about these things and I am so grateful to them for their love and courage.

  2. Gah! Why does WP do that?! Some how WP “unfollowed” you? Now I see all the posts I’ve missed and your trip and your shoulder injury, and the beans, the beautiful beans!
    Perhaps your father saw more than he said and knew that he needed to give you some special memories that were happy and that no one else could share in but him….

    • WP “unfollowed” me from five people I’ve followed forever.

      I think you’re right about my dad. I think he did see more than he said. It was during the time my brother was 1 or 2 years old and my dad was then first having problems resulting from MS. I think he wanted to share time with me that I could keep forever. ❤

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