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Sunday, July 17, 2005 :::

That just don't seem right.

The whole story behind the absurd, sad story of Murderous Mary the Elephant and her eventual execution is here, but the page seems to be available only sporadically. I'll paraphrase it for you just in case it's inaccessible: Eighty years ago, Mary the circus elephant smooshed her handler's head like a watermelon. So in the eye-for-an-eye-spirit of the time period, they hung her after guns (and reportedly electricity) didn't do the trick. Then eighty years later they opened a gift shop to commemorate the event. I can't imagine what you'd buy there because the image isn't exactly suitable for t-shirts:

That makes me sad.

::: posted by dan at 10:03 PM :: [ link ] :: (18) comments Social Bookmark Button

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18 previous comments:

Well I think that was the sickest thing I've ever read...

By Anonymous Joe, at 11:47 PM  

Are they trying to say that this is some sort of sick, southern-style DADA event?

I think Walt Disney was inspired by this story. Dumbo's mom had a similar experience.

By Blogger stsundown, at 12:15 AM  

whoa, thats totally insane,,,wow

By Blogger Satisfied '75, at 1:24 AM  

There has to be an easier way to kill an elephant.

Maybe this was the inspiration for George Orwell to write the essay "Shooting an Elephant."

By Blogger Erik, at 5:20 AM  

There's actually a fictionalized account of this in McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (ed. by Michael Chabon, locally available via the Dakota County library system) - Glen David Gold's "The Tears of Squonk, and What Happened Thereafter". It might make you feel better as Gold gives Squonk (aka Mary) a personality and some motive.

By Blogger Scooter, at 7:24 AM  

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Blogger Martingale Jones, at 9:08 AM  

Let's try again. I made a most unfortunate spelling error on the last comment. (Ack.) Anyway...

Awful. How in the world did you come across this story?


By Blogger Martingale Jones, at 9:12 AM  

If you do a google search of ghost stories (you know, for like kids camps) you can find this story if the link doesn't work. Even though reasonable ppl don't think the image would be suitable for selling on a tee-shirt, some think it is suitable for telling groups of scouts. Sad.

By Blogger Michelle, at 9:34 AM  

the eye-for-an-eye-spirit is still alive and kicking here in the US!

By Anonymous duane, at 9:42 AM  

I always like to start my week out on a super sad note. Thanks Dan!

By Blogger Kristina, at 9:43 AM  

I don't know which is worse, the excruciating tale itself or that some slattern thought it would be a swell idea to "memorialize" the event with a shop called The Hanging Elephant Antiques, complete with sign showing Mary swinging from the crane in silhouette. Creep-O.

On a lighter note, do you suppose this is the source of Cheech & Chong's "Sister Mary Elephant" gag?

By Blogger S&J, at 11:59 AM  

What would've been great is if you'd have put a link to the photo on your main page so that I didn't have to actually see it. What a downer. Thanks, DAN!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:24 PM  

I averted my eyes, but still caught a glimpse of that sad picture. Please don't do that again!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:17 PM  

That is a real bummer. I am totally heartbroken now.

By Blogger asia, at 10:30 AM  

Well...all the whiners complaining Dan ruined their whole weekend might want to avoid this link, because it is equally sad/maddening. It's about a couple of "scientists" that thought it would be a good idea to give an elephant enough LSD to get 3,000 people high. I'm sure you can guess the rest...,9865,770756,00.html

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:55 PM  

My link was cut off, but just do a google search for lsd elephant.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:56 PM  

I love elephants. I received "The Bathroom Reader" for Christmas this year (as I do every single year - long story, but you should look into it - this was the 18th edition!). Anyway, this story was in it, and when the story mentioned that you could probably find a picture on the internet I had to look (even though I was disgusted and didn't want to; human nature, I know). I actually cried when I read this story; people are so cruel.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:07 AM  

Hideous! This was one of the most vile stories that I have ever read. People disgust me. I feel no sympathy for the circus performer who beat her in the skull for attempting to eat a piece of watermelon. This entire story is disgusting and the town should be ashamed for trying to memorialize this traumatic event.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:25 AM  

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