For our prompt of “Feet” today, a baby elephant leapt to mind, with their big chunky feet that I find rather adorable. I got a bit lost watching videos of baby elephants bounding around and tumbling on the ground as they learned to use those giant feet for the first time. It’s absolutely priceless. And, It’s lucky that elephants don’t wear shoes as they would have quite a bit of difficultly finding a pair that fit properly. But, what I find perfectly lovely is that if you mouth the phrase “elephant shoes” to someone you care for, it looks just like you’re whispering “I love you.” Though elephants don’t share our language, I still imagined a happy little elephant mouthing the phrase to a passing butterfly. Babies always enjoy every lovely thing they see, and I think that’s always a nice reminder for adults as well. Truly, there can really never be too much love in the world. Even if we’re now living in a time when we must keep our distance, there are still ways to show our love and appreciation from afar.

I love those sweet tiny gestures that express big emotions. Indeed, one can also mouth the phrase “Olive Juice” to express love, but I rather enjoy also thinking about an elephant in high tops. Sometimes, just a subtle expression can express all of the joy and love one has for someone else. Then there are all of the inside jokes that only two of a kind can understand. I have many of these that I share with my mom and sister, many of which have lasted for years. Or, just a silly secret language that keeps love fresh and life just a bit more interesting. Philippe and I have lots of little inside jokes or silly conversations, many of them built from the elaborate stories we’ve created for our dog Phineas. Even when he’s not in the room, we still talk for him as if he were there, getting the last word in about whatever is currently taking place. I’m sure Phineas thinks we’re absolutely bonkers, but I also hope he knows that we’re always thinking of him.

We have a lot of fun in our house, but we do miss going out in the world with friends and being able to visit our family across the ocean. But, these times will pass and there are more ways to connect today than when I was a kid. That’s a pretty awesome thing indeed. I never liked chatting on the phone, so being about to see a person via video chat is a really wonderful experience. Well, seeing them is wonderful, but I’m usually a few haircuts behind and haven’t shaved in a week these days, so I’m not sure it’s quite as rewarding for them. Life still feels a bit surreal these days and though we’re getting used to things, it doesn’t make the forced distance any easier. And, even though masks might hide our faces most of the time in the world out there, when we’re at home with our closest companions, there are still times when we don’t have to say anything at all. We can just smile knowingly, while silently mouthing the phrase, “elephant shoes.”

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33 thoughts on “Elephant Shoes

  1. Adorable Charlie! Baby animals are so cute! My excitement for today was to go to the local farm stand for fresh corn. Social distancing wasn’t hard. One person was paying for his veggies as i picked up mine and one person was working. I went at a quiet time. The corn was marvelous!

  2. I’ve often thought about how it must have been in the past when a child would leave home to travel to parts unknown. If a family was lucky they might get a letter once in a while, though often that meant the traveler had to pay someone to write it, and the family someone to read it. Most families just never heard from their child again and neither child nor family ever knew how the other fared. Today, we pick up a phone or computer and talk from across the world and can even see each other. How fortunate we are!

  3. Like Phineas, Monster was the third person in our house. Like a toddler who gets quiet when up to no good, we would call out to him when he got too quiet. My whole day revolved around him. We signed his name on our Christmas cards. People would ask my mom about Monster AND THEN me. We found out that was bilingual in a funny way. My mother’s bedroom window faces the street. We had a lot of stray cats that would meander across our yard. My mother would call out, “Monster!! Look at kitty!” He would come running down the hall to bark out of her window at kitty. One day, she told me in Spanish that a “gato ” was walking by, but she didn’t want him to know or he would bark and her novela (Mexican soap opera) was on. Guess what? We were amazed that he came running down the hall to bark at the cat!!! My mother said, “Es bilingue!” He’s bilingual! He’s been gone 5 years now and every now and then , when a cat walks by, we call out, “Monster! Look at kitty.” We laugh because it’s a ” joke” , but it’s also a memory kept alive.
    I know that I talk a lot about Monster, but he was my child. His departure left a big empty hole in this house and my heart. Talking about him brings him back. 😊 I love baby elephants! I have never heard of “elephant shoes”, but I love the image of a baby elephant in Converse high tops! I couldn’t get Monster to wear a collar, but maybe putting shoes on an elephant might be easier! Great painting, Charlie. 😊

    1. Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Aww… I love that you keep Monster’s memory alive. That’s so wonderful! And love that story!! Yeah, we actually tried to put shoes on our dog in the winter to protect his feet. He just froze up and wouldn’t move anywhere! hehe

      1. haha haha That is what Monster did when I put a collar on him. He went limp and refused to move. I think he just liked being naked! haha When he misbehaved, we would ask him, “You want me to get that thing?” That’s what he knew the collar as. He would get really sad and skulk away. I miss him every day. 😊

  4. Charlie when I was little, I had my own language (as attested by my mom) and although I loved my tiny grey elephant I dragged about by an ear, I could not say elephant. I called him “Phuntan.” Even though we are both several decades past that mispronunciation, we still call em like see em! 🐘

  5. He’s a cutie! As soon as I’m done here, I’m going to go look at some baby elephant vids. It was a quiet day here. The furthest I got was the front deck. Tomorrow I have to water stuff, so I’ll get back out there. It’s feeling a bit like fall here with shorter days. Late August always makes me a bit melancholy. It reminds me of all the things I didn’t get done through the summer.

  6. Hello Charlie,

    What an adorable baby elephant! Your sketch is almost an exact replica of a scene I witnessed in March just before lockdown began. I was visiting a national park and the newest baby elephant from the guards camp was out for his first stroll. Like you’ve said, he was fascinated by everything and ended up chasing butterflies. He was bold enough to come right up to our jeep but his mother pulled him back. We had gone in hoping to see a tiger but we so fell in love with the baby elephant that we spent an hour ooohing and awwwwing over him. 🙂 Thanks so much for bringing suh a sweet memory back.


  7. Baby elephants are my favorite and this is just adorable. Yes that is one good thing about wearing masks, you aren’t that recognizable. Especially if you have a new hairdo. Bahawaha!

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