Posted By thecircusblog on September 9, 2012
Babe was one of the nicest elephants anyone would ever want to work with. She was on many circuses, had many handlers, and was bought and sold–I really don’t know how many times. There is one story about her that I remember well as I was there. It was the new edition of the Yankee Patterson circus in 1944. We were playing a lot that, like most, had no water available. On the corner of the lot was a gas station and a small house that sat behind it.
Dad went over to talk with the owner to see if we could buy or trade out with tickets for water. This is an event that happens all the time with circus people. I personally was not there during the conversion with Dad and the station owner, but when Dad came back to the lot we all knew that the answer was NO WATER FOR YOU CIRCUS BUMS. The guy was a real bad customer if you know what I mean. The show did have a small water truck that if you made several trips it would take care of some of the water needs.
After the show that night, it was a about that time Babe could not wait any longer. She knew where the water was and she was going to get some. Babe pulled up her stake using her chain and made a beeline to the gas station. At the back of the station there was a large water pipe–and what’s a water pipe to a thirsty elephant? She pulled up the water pipe breaking it along with others. It seemed almost like revenge–and then drank her fill.
Babe made her way back to the lot unbeknownst to anyone… Until That next morning owner of the gas station came screaming across the lot to the show office where Dad and Jimmy Woods were talking about renting a water truck. The gas station owner as banging at the office door and yelling, “somebody came over and broke, pulled, bent all my water pipes, my whole gas station house is flooded!” Evidently the station owner slept through Babe’s visit. “One of you circus people did it, I will see to it that all of you will be arrested!”
He went on and on, just about as much as my Dad told this story to everyone. Finally Dad and Jimmy calmed the man down, and without taking blame ask what had happened. As the story goes they walked over to the man’s property and discovered that every water pipe had been pulled up.
Jimmy Looked over the mess and said “Why it must have taken a Mack truck to do this,” all the while knowing it could have been Babe. She had done similar things like this before. Dad said we would sure like to help him out, understand we did not see this happen but he said he’d get some men to help repair the damage, that is if we could just get a little water. The Razzle Dazzle took hold and the fix was in. A true Jack Pot