It happened many times. Between 1913 and 1934, the Birmingham police were called out repeatedly to investigate reports of a drunken man walking down Fifth Avenue South with a ten-thousand pound elephant strolling along behind. Other times the elephant, daintily named Miss Fancy, wandered alone through the neighborhoods of Avondale, Forest Park, and Woodlawn. From inside their houses residents would see Miss Fancy’s giant head framed in a window as she looked in at them. One little girl remembered waking in the morning to Miss Fancy’s face “pressed against the panes of her bedroom window” as the elephant watched the child sleep. Housewives would find Miss Fancy eating their flowerbeds. She sometimes visited the playground at Avondale Elementary School, where the children would run outside to feed her their lunches. In the evenings, people heard her trumpet loudly as she walked past their houses. It was not unusual to find huge piles of elephant dung in the streets.
From the Vault
Read complete classic articles and departments featured in Alabama Heritage magazine in the past 35 years of publishing. You'll find in-depth features along with quirky and fun departments that cover the people, places, and events that make our state great!