MEANWHILE, Wellington (NZ)
There is a drawing which resembles an elephant in the First Bible of Charles the Bald (c.846) , except that it feels wrong: the ears are far too small; the mouth appears somewhat beak-like; the tail is too long; it has a horses’ legs; the head is indistinct from the body; and the trunk seems like an afterthought, a semi-attached saxophone. It is an elephant made very strange, drawn by someone who had not seen an elephant before. Probably they were imagining the animal via second-hand description, putting down on paper a possible arrangement of elephantine features.
On the website www.fake-foods.com, under the category “Fruits” and in the subcategory “Garnishes”, there is another version of elephant – this one made from plastic. It is a replica gone wrong, moulded plastic made to look like a lemon that has been carved to look like an elephant. The CITRUS ELEPHANT (in all caps, as it is named on the website) is a good replica in its broad strokes (after-all, it must be hard to carve a convincing elephant out of a lemon), but the individual details make it absurd: the elephant’s trunk points out from its face like a shrivelled finger, it has an oddly shaped head, very short legs, and a stubby pig’s tail. The CITRUS ELEPHANT fails at being convincing as an elephant or a lemon, yet it is somewhat endearing.
 “First Bible of Charles the Bald | List of Figures,” accessed May 17, 2017, https://listoffigures.wordpress.com/tag/first-bible-of-charles-the-bald/.
Images by Sean Burn