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