The Elephants of Paris

I kept seeing elephants in Paris. The first was in the Menageries du Jardin des Plantes, and there aren’t any elephants there. The elephant was by the camels and then by the giant donkey. I remembered a movie where there’s an elephant room for courtesans, so I sat down by the flamingos and looked it up on my phone. There had been an elephant room in Montmartre. There was an elephant statue at the Orsay. An elephant statue in Les Miserables. I saw another elephant in Parc Georges Brassens—the former horse slaughterhouse—weeping. A duck tried to console it.


Janna Layton’s poetry and fiction have been published in various literary journals, including Bartleby Snopes, REAL,The First Line, The Pinch, and The Vocabula Review. She blogs at

Photo Credit: Joel Young

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