COBWEB CORNERS: The cowboy and his elephant
By Mel McFarland
A friend of mine asked me a question recently about something I had never heard about. Since I know a lot about the Fountain Valley, I ought to know this story! I know this is Old Colorado City, so what does this have to do with us?
It only has to do with one of the strangest things I have learned about the Pike's Peak region! Ever hear of the cowboy and his elephant? There is a nice book, written about ten years ago, called "A Cowboy and His Elephant." It is a true story, not fiction. It talks about a rancher in "Colorado Springs, north of Denver." Well at this point I knew who this was about, and his ranch I have gone by hundreds of times, is not north of Denver. Well, that did not stop me, and there is a side to this story that does not let ranches nor elephants get in the way.
At this point I better dot some I's and cross some T's. Actually it is the T's that are important because it is the T Cross ranch (south of Fountain) and its owner, Bob Norris, that the book is about. His story of how he became the "host" to Amy the elephant is almost as good as how she did on the ranch. Now you just do not get an elephant every day; this one almost went to Arizona. Bob and some of his hands, who are probably reading this now, probably have lots of tales that did not go into the book. Authors being like we are, have to draw lines as to just how colorful tales can be.
I have never seen a cowboy riding fence with an elephant following behind. If I had, I know I would have stopped to ask, "Now wait a minute." So you missed it too!
Now the elephant is gone. But there is a story of Bob visiting the circus that Amy went to that made me laugh. It sort of made me wonder if the author ever heard that an elephant never forgets. In the story there is more about getting elephants back to Africa, like Amy.
When I was a student in school, I would have loved to do a book report on this book! There are copies at the library. It has local history and humor, tragedy and tons of human interest. I do not know if it is still available, but I am sure the Internet has it. I want to thank Bob Norris for making a great story. Can you imagine playing hide and seek with an elephant? You might enjoy it even if it is not Colorado City.