The story that began the story
One of the things people ask me most is ‘How Did you come up with the story?‘ In reality the story came from a confluence of influences but the spark came from a documentary about Tesla Vs Edison (before the movie came out.) What left me sleepless and in tears was Edison’s Vitascope footage from 1903 showing Topsy the Circus elephant being put to her death, being labelled a danger to man.
Circus elephants endured a dreadful life. Behind the glitz was beatings, bull sticks, starvation and a whole imaginative back catalogue of abuses to make them ‘pliable.’
Often the elephants ended up lashing out and indeed becoming violent, perhaps even settling scores in their own way, or simply retreating into themselves and swaying endlessly in the chains to dull the pain. (A bit like PTSD in humans I’m told by the experts.)
Topsy was one such elephant. And she paid the ultimate price for her captivity. And over one hundred years later she inspired ‘Daisy’s’ character in the Eighth Wonder. I hope I did her justice.
Why this story is important
The other thing to note is that this kind of elephant abuse still goes on today. Fortunately there are wonderful people out there raising money and helping elephants to live a natural life. One such organisation is “Trunks Up” and I’m happy to say I sponsor one of the orphaned babies who is part of the herd in Thailand. xoxo
The first two images below are taken from Trunks Up website and the third from a movie ‘Love and Bananas’ that first connected me with the Trunks Up programme.