Elephant

So you work for the BBC, says the woman over the phone. Can I ask? she says. Are you an undercover reporter?

I watch her from my window. She is one of three. The youngest. She is lumpen, where the other two are slim and lean. They ride around their drive on bikes. She is always bringing up the rear, not riding as such but propelling her bike along with her feet. She wears heavy-rimmed glasses. I’d heard her mother calling her by her pet name. Elephant. Elephant, she called. Elephant.

Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk and said goodbye to the Circus, they used to sing at me. Nellie. At primary school. Nellie the Elephant, they’d say. Trunk, trunk, trunk.