I had been working in the office for a while and had not even realized I was lacking an elephant. But as it often is with people, animals or things in life, you may not realise that they are lacking, until you come across them and they become an important part of your life. That is exactly what happened with the elephant in my office, anyway.

I am not saying that this will work for everyone. Instead, I have to say straight away that “Eli”, the elephant I was sharing my office with, is a very special animal. But should you succeed to fit a similar animal into your office, you will not regret it, I promise.

„An elephant in your office? You must be joking!“ is what you will be thinking. But this is a true story of a unique regular-sized elephant that came to live in my office, well in some distance, but clearly present in the office.

“Eli” moved in roughly the same time that my new colleague had started his job. Coincidence? Unlikely. I think they were more or less on the same wavelength. Which was great, because that way I had someone to take care of Eli when I was gone for a holiday or work.

Eli was unique in that he was a little crazy, in his own ways. It started with his looks: He was black, lacked his tusks, and had three wild-looking red hair on his head. He was not pretty, but of a good character. Colleagues that would see him for the first time usually thought that he was pretty small. But they simply had not understood that Eli was not small – he was only quite far away and thus looked small. He was a grown elephant (although you would not always be able to tell due to his sometimes childish behavior). And at times, the wind would carry over a strange smell which I assume came from his trunk (“Rüsseldampf”). Anyway, he kept me good company and was rather quiet while I was concentrating on work. He did not need a lot of care. I think he merely enjoyed my company as well. Unfortunately, he may not have understood I was to return when I was absent for a longer while, for work. So, when I returned, he was gone. I think he went into the world to explore what is out there for him. Once in a while I thought I heard or saw pictures of him in different places. In that case, I would think of him, feeling happy that he was enjoying life fully.

After Eli had left, his somewhat rude and rough cousin paid me a visit in my office once, but we did not get along all too well, so I made him go away.

I have not heard directly from Eli ever again, but rumours tell that he might be running for a ministerial post in the new German Federal Government these days.

Oh, and I had promised to tell you how you can fit an elephant into your office. Here goes…

Besides some good will, humour and fantasy, all you need are these few, but important ingredients:
– a creative colleague
– a white board with an empty corner
– markers in different colors.