It was a purchase I couldn't resist in a gymnasium filled with booths - old coins, pull-along toys, boxed Barbies galore, all sorts of odds and ends. I strolled through the indoor antique fair and was finally pulled to a corner, where a man turned it over in his hands and gave me a history. He'd found it in India, he said, and brought it back.
It's been a bookend, a place to hide rent money, a ring-holder, a cherished conversation-piece and the place to find stamps and paper clips.
It is a very old wooden elephant, hinged and on wheels. I have been told it was made as a cosmetic pot, but it seems more likely to me to be a toy or a sweet hidey-hole.
Whatever it is, I love it. It makes me smile, and I stroke it with a finger whenever I go by.
And I can't wait for my kids to be just a little older so it can come down off the high shelf it lives on.
I want to show them the small compartment in its' belly and the cunning wheels and talk about the uplifted lucky trunk and let them choose what Mama's lelephant should harbour next.
And I can't wait to find out.