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The ride on an elephant

By Ann Hasler

I was about five years old and living in Prenton, Wirral. One day my grandparents said they were taking my sister and I to Chester Zoo. This was a wonderful experience for us particularly the ride on an elephant! My sister and I climbed up a tall set of steps next to where the huge elephant was patiently standing. We were then transferred rather precariously to a saddle seat which took about four children at a time. The elephant lumbered off and I recall feeling a little unsafe and noticing a very strong pungent smell coming from the enormous grey body beneath me. We only travelled a short way and the elephant turned round and returned to the step ladder. It was certainly a little scary but I have only happy memories of the experience. After that I was allowed to choose one toy from the shop. I chose a small brown monkey wearing a yellow waistcoat and a small red hat. It cost 6d and I have kept it safely over the years and still treasure it as a wonderful memento of my first visit to Chester Zoo!

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