The old adage, ‘An elephant never forgets’, could not be more endearingly illustrated than in this delightfully charming tale.
Jenny and Shirley are two elephants that were raised and grew up performing in the circus. Their sad history under the big top is fraught with abuse and cruelty. Raised from very young ages in the circus, they eventually suffered crippling debilitation at the hands of their abusive trainers.
Fortunately, they were eventually taken in by the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. In 2000, a documentary of their reunion there was made by PBS. It had been 22 years since they had seen each other.
Immediately upon recognizing each other, their heartfelt, emotional re-bonding began. In their eagerness to get together, they actually bent the bars that separated them so that they could feel each others touch. The beautifully tender moment affected everyone there watching that day. As they saying goes: “there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
The two old friends spent their days reveling in their happy coexistence, cavorting, locking trunks affectionately, and enjoying their happy, healthy new home. It was a time of renewal and love for two old friends who had survived hard times together.
Sadly, in 2006, illness overcame Shirley’s old friend and Jenny passed away. Distraught by her dear best friend’s passing, Shirley refused to eat for two days.
While the tale has a sadness to it, there is joy in knowing that they had at last shared happiness in their lives, together. Their obvious compassion and sincere emotion illustrated that even animals have the ability to show and recognize love.