Rosie the stuffed elephant

The Elephant In The Room

This is Rosie. She is a 3-foot high stuffed toy in the shape of an elephant. Rosie has been with our family since we won a Lions club raffle, and has ever since occupied pride of place on the couch in our spare room. Rosie the elephant lives a quiet life. No TV. No books. No computers or tablets. She sits, patiently. Until one day a few summers ago, I decided to take her out for a ride.

Why? I sometimes like having models when I head into the woods. My favourite model by far is my beautiful wife, but she was unavailable. In a fit of humerous husbandly pique, I grabbed Rosie and said I would take her instead. We laughed. Putting Rosie on the front seat and my gear on the back, I dropped said wife off at work and Rosie and I headed for the trails.

Few things raise as many eyebrows as a grinning man striding manfully into the woods carrying a bright yellow stuffed elephant.

I nodded and grinned cheerfully as I passed other hikers, with a handful of quips ready on my lips. None were needed. Canadians are cool. They just grinned and smiled back, evaluating me correctly as a harmless idiot. Whatever else they were thinking, that’s on them. I was out to take some photos.


I had bought some new camera equipment for portraiture and wanted to test it out. For that, I needed a model. My wife being at work and nobody else available on short notice, Rosie filled the role nicely. After parking in the lot I grabbed everything, including Rosie, and headed somewhere quiet. The looks I got from others on the trail was a real bonus. I had a whole afternoon of photographic fun with Rosie. She turned out to be one of the best models I’ve worked with. Didn’t object to being posed. Was patient. Didn’t talk back. She didn’t even want paying. That’s a biggie for a Yorkshireman. All things considered, it was a beautiful and successful day. My gear worked, I learned how to use it, and Rosie got a bit of a tan.

I even found time to make a video of it. It’s here.

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