Elephant Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Elephant. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful one-hundred percent!
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Dr. Seuss (Horton Hatches the Egg)
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We...we could be friends.' We COULD be rare specimens of an exotic breed of dancing African elephants, but we're not. At least, I'M not.
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Neil Gaiman (Coraline)
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One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I'll never know.
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Groucho Marx
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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
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Desmond Tutu
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Always be fearless. Walk like lion, talk like pigeons, live like elephants and love like an infant child.
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Santosh Kalwar (Quote Me Everyday)
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To be a baby elephant must be wonderful. Surrounded by a loving family 24 hours a day…. I think it must be how it ought to be, in a perfect world.
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Daphne Sheldrick
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Leo couldn't help smiling. "That could be fun." "Fun" she said unhappily. "Blue elephants." "Blue elephants." "Kiss me you fool." "You fool.
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Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
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When two people are meant to be together, they will be together. It's fate.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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With a secret like that, at some point the secret itself becomes irrelevant. The fact that you kept it does not.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Frank stared at him. "Unfair? You can breathe underwater and blow up glaciers and summon freaking hurricanes-and it's unfair that I can be an elephant?" Percy considered. "Okay. I guess you got a point. But the next time I say you're totally beast-" "Just shut up," Frank said. "Please." Percy cracked a smile.
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Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
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Mythologically speaking, if there's anything I hate worse than trios of old ladies, it's bulls. Last summer, I fought the Minotaur on top of Half-Blood Hill. This time what I saw up there was even worse: two bulls. And not just regular bulls - bronze ones the size of elephants. And even that wasn't bad enough. Naturally they had to breathe fire, too.
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Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
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God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things.
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Pablo Picasso
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I want her to melt into me, like butter on toast. I want to absorb her and walk around for the rest of my days with her encased in my skin. I want.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Women and elephants never forget.
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Dorothy Parker
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A man would rather be trampled by elephants on fire than tell you he's just not that into you.
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Greg Behrendt
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When Great Trees Fall When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety. When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear. When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken. Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened. Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away. We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves. And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.
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Maya Angelou
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Writers, like elephants, have long, vicious memories. There are things I wish I could forget.
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William S. Burroughs
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Daemon was the pissy pink elephant in the room with a bad attitude.
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Jennifer L. Armentrout (Onyx (Lux, #2))
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He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.
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George Orwell (Shooting an Elephant)
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There'a a phrase, "the elephant in the living room", which purports to describe what it's like to live with a drug addict, an alcoholic, an abuser. People outside such relationships will sometimes ask, "How could you let such a business go on for so many years? Didn't you see the elephant in the living room?" And it's so hard for anyone living in a more normal situation to understand the answer that comes closest to the truth; "I'm sorry, but it was there when I moved in. I didn't know it was an elephant; I thought it was part of the furniture." There comes an aha-moment for some folks - the lucky ones - when they suddenly recognize the difference.
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Stephen King
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Keeping up the appearance of having all your marbles is hard work, but important.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Life is the most spectacular show on earth β™₯
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Dear God. Not only am I unemployed and homeless, but I also have a pregnant woman, bereaved dog, elephant, and eleven horses to take care of.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Will looked up angrily, shaking his head in disbelief. Will you shut up? he said tautly. Horace shrugged in apology. 'I'm sorry' he said, I sneezed. A person can't help it when they sneeze. Perhaps not. But you could try to make it sound a little less like an elephant trumpeting in agony; Will told him.
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John Flanagan (The Siege of Macindaw (Ranger's Apprentice, #6))
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When will people learn that just because you can make something doesn’t mean you should?
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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When there’s an elephant in the room introduce him.
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Randy Pausch
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Words are cheap. The biggest thing you can say is 'elephant'.
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Charlie Chaplin
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The more distressing the memory, the more persistent it's presence.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores.
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Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24))
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Sometimes truths are what we run from, and sometimes they are what we seek.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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You are obvious, boy. You are difficult to miss. If you came to me in company with a purple lion, a green elephant, and a scarlet unicorn astride which was the King of England in his Royal Robes, I do believe that it is you and you alone that people would stare at, dismissing the others as minor irrelevancies.
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Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
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I'm sorry," he says. "What? Why?" "You're fixing everything I set down." He nods at my hands, which are readjusting the elephant. "It wasn't polite of me to come in and start touching your things." "Oh, it's okay," I say quickly, letting go of the figurine. "You can touch anything of mine you want." He freezes. A funny look runs across his face before I realize what I've said. I didn't mean it like that. Not that that would be so bad.
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Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
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I'm told I have the body of a god." "A Greek god, or one of those gods with the horse heads or elephant's legs coming out of their chests?" Alan asked. "Next time someone tells you that, ask them to specify.
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Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Covenant)
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You may control a mad elephant; You may shut the mouth of the bear and the tiger; Ride the lion and play with the cobra; By alchemy you may learn your livelihood; You may wander through the universe incognito; Make vassals of the gods; be ever youthful; You may walk in water and live in fire; But control of the mind is better and more difficult.
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Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi)
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Oh, it's you," Curran's voice said quietly. "I thought it was an elephant.
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Ilona Andrews (Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1))
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He'd noticed that sex bore some resemblance to cookery: it fascinated people, they sometimes bought books full of complicated recipes and interesting pictures, and sometimes when they were really hungry they created vast banquets in their imagination - but at the end of the day they'd settle quite happily for egg and chips. If it was well done and maybe had a slice of tomato.
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Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
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Age is a terrible thief. Just when you're getting the hang of life, it knocks your legs out from under you and stoops your back. It makes you ache and muddies your head and silently spreads cancer throughout your spouse.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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It was like there was an elephant in the room. An elephant that expected us to have sex.
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Morgan Matson (Amy & Roger's Epic Detour)
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They say that somewhere in Africa the elephants have a secret grave where they go to lie down, unburden their wrinkled gray bodies, and soar away, light spirits at the end.
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Robert R. McCammon (Boy's Life)
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At first, I could lie about my lack of sleep and she'd fall for it, but she started suspecting insomnia when I began seeing purple elephants in the air vents at the office. I knew I shouldn't have asked her about them. I thought maybe she'd redecorated.
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Darynda Jones (Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3))
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It is important that you say what you mean to say. Time is too short. You must speak the words that matter.
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Kate DiCamillo (The Magician's Elephant)
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Even as your body betrays you, your mind denies it.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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I want to see an elephant hunt down a man for the sole purpose of collecting his teeth, while a chorus of typewriters sings songs that praises the bananas for their wisdom, leadership, and their high levels of potassium.
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Jarod Kintz (I Want)
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When you are five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties, you know how old you are. I'm twenty-three you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties, something strange starts to happen. It is a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm--you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you are not. You're thirty-five. And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Is where you're from the place you're leaving or where you have roots?
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Loyalty was a great thing, but no lieutenants should be forced to choose between their leader and a circus with elephants.
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Neil Gaiman (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
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Wallowing was for elephants, depressing people and depressing elephants
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Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
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Nature's great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing.
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John Donne
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It is a bad thing to have love and nowhere to put it.
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Kate DiCamillo (The Magician's Elephant)
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Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life
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Bertolt Brecht (Jewish Wife and Other Short Plays: Includes: In Search of Justice; Informer; Elephant Calf; Measures Taken; Exception and the Rule; Salzburg Dance of Death)
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Kat had been picking things up since her third birthday, when Hamish and Angus's father took them all to the circus because he needed to "borrow" an elephant.
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Ally Carter (Heist Society (Heist Society, #1))
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...if you expect people to try to do things your way, you're going to have to give some hints as to what that way is.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Elephants can remember, but we are human beings and mercifully human beings can forget.
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Agatha Christie (Elephants Can Remember (Hercule Poirot, #40))
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Guess who has PE first hour? This is so unfair. I start the day off perspiring like an elephant in heat. Don't the people who make up our schedule understand body odor? Don't they understand frizzy hair?
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Becca Fitzpatrick (Silence (Hush, Hush, #3))
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by
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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She was a beautiful woman." Gavner sighed, tracing the outline of one of the elephants. "She just had very bad taste in underwear …" "And in boyfriends," I added impishly. Mr. Crepsley burst into laughter at that
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Darren Shan (Vampire Mountain (Cirque Du Freak, #4))
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When I said I wanted to die in my sleep, I meant I wanted to be stepped on by an elephant while making love.
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Roger Zelazny (The Great Book of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber, #1-10))
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I showed the grown ups my masterpiece, and I asked them if my drawing scared them. They answered:"why be scared of a hat?" My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant.
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Antoine de Saint-ExupΓ©ry (The Little Prince)
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A jolly young fellow from Yuma Told an elephant joke to a puma; now his skeleton lies beneath hot western skies- the puma had no sense of huma
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Ogden Nash
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Did I ever say an engagement was an elephant, madam?
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Elizabeth Gaskell (Wives and Daughters)
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After you're dead and buried and floating around whatever place we go to, what's going to be your best memory of earth? What one moment for you defines what it's like to be alive on this planet. What's your takeaway? Fake yuppie experiences that you had to spend money on, like white water rafting or elephant rides in Thailand don't count. I want to hear some small moment from your life that proves you're really alive.
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Douglas Coupland (Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture)
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Jack laughed behind him, a mirthless sound from a man who had been on the wrong end of life's ironies too many times.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.
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Ina May Gaskin (Ina May's Guide to Childbirth)
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He had an intrusive gaze and quietly confident manner, that seemed to strip away the layers of protective deception Scott would usually adopt around strangers.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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Consider and then act, don't react. A worthy opponent will calculate his move to entice a response from you. Make your own play.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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Solitude led to retrospective thinking, and if the past is what you are trying to get away from, then constant distractions in the present are needed.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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Scott glanced at his watch but didn't register what it said. The notion of time had become as absurd as the quietly glowing trees.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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...women are elephants and watch the way you say that in front of them because they'll think you're calling them fat and there's no coming back from that moment. But they hoard. They say they don't, but they do. We think that if something's not spoken about again, it goes away. It doesn't. Nothing goes away just like that...
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Melina Marchetta (The Piper's Son)
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The craggy lines that made up the character in his face now seemed like scars of defeat, inflicted on him over time.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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We were left with nothing because of a love like acid that ate its way through our entire family.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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When there is an invisible elephant in the room, one is from time to time bound to trip over a trunk.
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Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves)
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Scott's mind was racing, struggling to comprehend the events unfolding around him. They were talking about disposing of Twinkle like he was a rusty old bike that no-one rode anymore.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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Mother,” Hyacinth said, pausing for slightly longer than normal to steal a bit of time to organize her thoughts, β€œI am not going to chase after Mr. St. Clair. He’s not at all the right sort of man for me.” β€œI’m not certain you’d know the right sort of man for you if he arrived on our doorstep riding an elephant.” β€œI would think the elephant would be a fairly good indication that I ought to look elsewhere.
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Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
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I realize now that the reality of things is not something you convey to people but something you make.
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Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
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Magic is always impossible.... It begins with the impossible and ends with the impossible and is impossible in between. That is why it's magic.
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Kate DiCamillo (The Magician's Elephant)
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I feel like a carton of eggs holding up an elephant.
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Sherman Alexie
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As long as we keep the elephant in the room and we persist ignoring it, we won’t be capable of unlearning people from β€˜phubbing’ their way through life. ("Even if the world goes down, my mobile will save me")
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Erik Pevernagie
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Why the hell shouldn't I run away with the circus?
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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It's just a crazy damned life, that's all ...
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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How will the world change if we do not question it?
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Kate DiCamillo (The Magician's Elephant)
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Apples to oranges, the act of comparing your life to another’s is more like comparing an elephant to an apple, it makes no sense to compare someone’s life that you have no knowledge about to that of your own, of which in all earnest is not something that you completely understand yourself.
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Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
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But what humans forget, cells remember. The body, that elephant
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Jeffrey Eugenides
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I had to wait for someone special. Someone who would make my heart feel as if it's been trampled by elephants, thrown into the amazon, and eaten by piranhas.
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Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
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I look after those who look after me." He smacks his lips, stares at me, and adds, "I also look after those who don't." - Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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I sounded like Horton the Elephant. "A person is a person no matter how small." What the hell was I doing standing in the middle of a cave, in the dark, surrounded by wererats, quoting Dr. Seuss, and trying to kill a one-thousand-year-old vampire?
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Laurell K. Hamilton
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He summoned you into the circle, Scott. For whatever reason, I don't know. But now you've left, you've become a loose thread. He won't sit back with the possibility you might cause his whole world to unravel around him.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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That's why Twinkle likes the place so much, Scott thought, looking around at the faded wood veneer tables, and the faded souls drinking at them. Misery was soaked through the place like the old beer soaked through its carpets.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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Ew.' 'Yeah,' Claire said. 'I need a shower.' 'I don't think a shower's going to cut it. Maybe fire hoses, and those brushes they use on elephants.' Eve stepped back and offered Shane a hand up as he finally got untangled. 'Speaking of elephants, you sounded like a herd of something coming down the stairs,' he said. 'What the hell are your shoes made of? Hooves?
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Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
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The only good cage is an empty cage.
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Lawrence Anthony (The Elephant Whisperer)
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Being the survivor stinks.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Although there are times I'd give anything to have her back, I'm glad she went first. Losing her was like being cleft down the middle. It was the moment it all ended for me, and I wouldn't have wanted her to go through that.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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There are some things about myself I can’t explain to anyone. There are some things I don’t understand at all. I can’t tell what I think about things or what I’m after. I don’t know what my strengths are or what I’m supposed to do about them. But if I start thinking about these things in too much detail the whole thing gets scary. And if I get scared I can only think about myself. I become really self-centered, and without meaning to, I hurt people. So I’m not such a wonderful human being.
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Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
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A thing may be too sad to be believed or too wicked to be believed or too good to be believed; but it cannot be too absurd to be believed in this planet of frogs and elephants, of crocodiles and cuttle-fish.
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G.K. Chesterton
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Ella is nervous,” the harpy muttered from her perch on the railing. β€œThe elephant. The elephant is watching Ella.
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Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
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And she tricked us into taking walkie-talkie rings she could listen in on,” Simon said. β€œI wouldn’t trust her further than I could throw a medium-sized elephant.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
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In the wild, an elephant mother and daughter stay in close proximity their whole lives; I hope I am that lucky.
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Jodi Picoult (Leaving Time)
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Injun Joe studied the body for a moment, his eyes sad. Then he said, "I'd rather go in my sleep, I think." He glanced back at me. "What about you?" "I want to be stepped on by an elephant while having sex with identical triplet cheerleaders," I said.
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Jim Butcher (Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, #11))
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If you've never seen an elephant ski, you've never been on acid.
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Eddie Izzard
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A shaft of moonlight illuminated a row of sentinel silver birch in a phosphorescent glow, appearing almost ethereal in the relative surrounding gloom. Boris had stopped again, his silhouette a stark black juxtaposition against the background of illuminated branches.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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Sometimes I think if I had to choose between an ear of corn or making love to a woman, I'd choose the corn.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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i meant what i said, and i said what i meant.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Money, power, sex ... and elephants.
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Lois McMaster Bujold (Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10))
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But perhaps the most important lesson I learned is that there are no walls between humans and the elephants except those that we put up ourselves, and that until we allow not only elephants, but all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never be whole ourselves.
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Lawrence Anthony (The Elephant Whisperer)
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The whole thing's illusion, [Jacob], and there's nothing wrong with that. It's what people want from us. It's what they expect.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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I hadn’t crossed the line. I’d ridden an elephant up to it and run back and forth along its edge while a mariachi band played in the background, but I hadn’t crossed it.
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Ilona Andrews (Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9))
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I stroke her lightly, memorizing her body. I want her to melt into me, like butter on toast. I want to absorb her and walk around for the rest of my days with her encased in my skin. I lie motionless, savoring the feeling of her body against mine. I'm afraid to breathe in case I break the spell.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Elephants love reunions. They recognize one another after years and years of separation and greet each other with wild, boisterous joy. There's bellowing and trumpeting, ear flapping and rubbing. Trunks entwine.
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Jennifer Richard Jacobson (Small as an Elephant)
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Strange how things turn out. Two birds, one stone and all that.' McBlane chuckled at his own impromptu joke. 'But things have worked out for the best and now we all get to work together,' he said, and a smile spread across his face as easy as a politician's lie.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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We came here for a small, informal meeting. We find you've turned it into a circus. Well, if you're going to have a circus, you've got to have elephants.
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Robert A. Heinlein
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He had done nothing on Christmas day, just wandered around outside in the frozen woods. Hard ground, chill winds and bare branches that looked like they'd been dipped in sugar. None of it seemed real, like walking around in a desolate dream, but one he didn't want to wake up from.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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That is surely the truth, at least for now. But perhaps you have not noticed: the truth is forever changing.
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Kate DiCamillo (The Magician's Elephant)
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General, your tank is a powerful vehicle It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men. But it has one defect: It needs a driver. General, your bomber is powerful. It flies faster than a storm and carries more than an elephant. But it has one defect: It needs a mechanic. General, man is very useful. He can fly and he can kill. But he has one defect: He can think.
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Bertolt Brecht
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Memory is like fiction; or else it's fiction that's like memory.
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Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
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I have a memory like an elephant. In fact, elephants often consult me.
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NoΓ«l Coward
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I loved her like elephants like remembering stuff. Those bastards just won’t let me forget and move on.
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Jarod Kintz (Love quotes for the ages. And the ageless sages.)
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When two people are meant to be together, they will be together. It's fate." - Jacob Jankowski, Water For Elephants
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
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Have you, in truth, ever seen something so heartbreakingly lovely? What are we to make of a world where stars shine bright in the midst of so much darkness and gloom?
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Kate DiCamillo (The Magician's Elephant)
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Deciding to wait, Scott sat down with a pint away from the bar at a corner table and lit a cigarette. The clientele in there on Sunday afternoon were the same as most other afternoons. From middle-aged to old men, drinking and cursing at the world like it was the last bus which had just left the stop without them.
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R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
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She was a lucky woman who had established a happy knack of writing what quite a lot of people wanted to read.
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Agatha Christie (Elephants Can Remember (Hercule Poirot, #40))
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I roll onto my side and stare out the venetian blinds at the blue sky beyond. After a few minutes I'm lulled into a sort of peace. The sky, the sky--same as it always was.
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”
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart. [On Seeing The 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning ]
”
”
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
You did something because it had always been done, and the explanation was, β€˜But we’ve always done it this way.’ A million dead people can’t have been wrong, can they?
”
”
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
β€œ
The Enemy wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour's talents--or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall.
”
”
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
β€œ
It is in some ways more troublesome to track and swat an evasive wasp than to shoot, at close range, a wild elephant. But the elephant is more troublesome if you miss.
”
”
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
β€œ
Love loves to love love. Nurse loves the new chemist. Constable 14A loves Mary Kelly. Gerty MacDowell loves the boy that has the bicycle. M. B. loves a fair gentlema. Li Chi Han lovey up kissy Cha Pu Chow. Jumbo, the elephant, loves Alice, the elephant. Old Mr Verschole with the ear trumpet loves old Mrs VErschoyle with the turnedin eye. The man in the brown macintosh loves a lady who is dead. His Majesty the King loves Her Majesty the Queen. Mrs Norman W. Tupper loves officer Taylor. You love a certain person. And this person loves that other person because everybody loves somebody but God loves everybody.
”
”
James Joyce (Ulysses)
β€œ
There are lots of things we never understand, no matter how many years we put on, no matter how much experience we accumulate.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
You don't have to judge the whole world by your own standards. Not everybody is like you, you know.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
Fair enough, that's what most people look for to begin with, but money can be a sliding scale, the more you have, the more you want, the more you need,' McBlane said as he sharpened the ash on the tip of his cigar into a point against the rim of the ashtray. It gave him the appearance of wielding a dagger as he gestured with his cigar holding hand.
”
”
R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
β€œ
We never choose anything at all. Things happen. Or not.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
I stare at her for a long moment. I want to kiss her. I want to kiss her more than I've ever wanted anything in my life.
”
”
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
What else do I have to offer? Nothing happens to me anymore. That’s the reality of getting old, and I guess that’s really the crux of the matter. I’m not ready to be old yet.
”
”
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
If the onset of wrinkles in middle age were referred to as laughter lines, then to look at him, Scott thought, Twinkle's life must have been hilarious. He had sharp eyes that often seemed to visually contradict the lack of intelligence that could be derived from listening to him talk. There might not be a lot to respect in Twinkle, but Scott liked him. He just didn't want to end up like him.
”
”
R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
β€œ
There," she said. She rocked him back and forth. "There, you foolish, beautiful boy who wants to change the world. There, there. And who could keep from loving you? Who could keep from loving a boy so brave and true?
”
”
Kate DiCamillo (The Magician's Elephant)
β€œ
The place where the story happened was a world on the back of four elephants perched on the shell of a giant turtle. That's the advantage of space. It's big enough to hold practically anything, and so, eventually, it does. People think that it is strange to have a turtle ten thousand miles long and an elephant more than two thousand miles tall, which just shows that the human brain is ill-adapted for thinking and was probably originally designed for cooling the blood. It believes mere size is amazing. There's nothing amazing about size. Turtles are amazing, and elephants are quite astonishing. But the fact that there's a big turtle is far less amazing than the fact that there is a turtle anywhere.
”
”
Terry Pratchett (The Last Hero (Discworld #27; Rincewind #7))
β€œ
And then I laugh, because it's so ridiculous and so gorgeous and it's all I an do to not melt into a fit of giggles. So what if I'm ninety-three? So what if I'm ancient and cranky and my body's a wreck? If they're willing to accept me and my guilty conscience, why the hell shouldn't I run away with the circus? It's like Charlie told the cop. For this old man, this IS home.
”
”
Sara Gruen
β€œ
When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys.
”
”
George Orwell (Shooting an Elephant)
β€œ
The city centre was still crawling with Christmas shoppers looking to add to their already burgeoning piles of gifts. To Scott they were like ants at a picnic, teeming from store to store, trailing oversized carrier bags and infants behind them as they went. Scott felt alien in this environment; pulling up his hood he hurried through the crowds, dodging pushchairs, lit cigarettes and charity collection tins.
”
”
R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
β€œ
Her life was a slow realization that the world was not for her and that for whatever reason she would never be happy and honest at the same time. She felt as if she were brimming always producing and hoarding more love inside her. But there was no release. table ivory elephant charm rainbow onion hairdo violence melodrama honey...None of it moved her. She addressed the world honestly searching for something deserving of the volumes of love she knew she had within her but to each she would have to say I don't love you.
”
”
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)
β€œ
Afterward she lies nestled against me, her hair tickling my face. I stroke her lightly, memorizing her body. I want her to melt into me, like butter on toast. I want to absorb her and walk around for the rest of my days with her encased in my skin.
”
”
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
After that day when I saw the elephant, I let myself see more and believe more. It was a game I played with myself. When I told Alma the things I saw she would laugh and tell me she loved my imagination. For her I changed pebbles into diamonds, shoes into mirrors, I changed glass into water, I gave her wings and pulled birds from her ears and in her pockets she found the feathers, I asked a pear to become a pineapple, a pineapple to become a lightbulb, a lightbulb to become the moon, and the moon to become a coin I flipped for her love, both sides were heads: I knew I couldn't lose.
”
”
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
β€œ
A black shadow dropped down into the circle. It was Bagheera the Black Panther, inky black all over, but with the panther markings showing up in certain lights like the pattern of watered silk. Everybody knew Bagheera, and nobody cared to cross his path, for he was as cunning as Tabaqui, as bold as the wild buffalo, and as reckless as the wounded elephant. But he had a voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree, and a skin softer than down.
”
”
Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Books)
β€œ
One impossible day, of an impossible month, of an impossible year.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died youngβ€”alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross–roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to–night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or soβ€”I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individualsβ€”and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting–room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky. too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would he impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.
”
”
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
β€œ
You know what it’s like when you’re trying to fall asleep and it only makes you more wide awake?
”
”
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
This was never any place I was meant to be. This isn’t a place for me.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
Life goes on with fragile normalcy.
”
”
Sara Gruen
β€œ
Elephants? Really? My God, what does he see in you? Certainly not your intellect or wit, since we’ve yet to see any evidence it exists. And your idea of a love scene? So Disney, so Family Channel, so dreadfully boring. Really, Ever, may I remind you that Damen’s been around for hundreds of years, including the free-love sixties?
”
”
Alyson Noel (Evermore (The Immortals, #1))
β€œ
Scott could feel the contents of his stomach flip over and over on themselves. He turned to the side and retched, frothy yellow bile spilled out onto the newspaper covered floor, filling the room with the putrid stench of previously ingested alcohol. 'Look's like someone can't hold their drink,' McBlane said, and Dominic and Shugg laughed. Scott was still staring at the steam rising from his evacuated stomach contents as he heard the hammer fall. The dull crack of bone splintering under its weight.
”
”
R.D. Ronald (The Elephant Tree)
β€œ
Life was so short; so many beautiful things slipped away.
”
”
Kate DiCamillo (The Magician's Elephant)
β€œ
I cannot stand small talk, because I feel like there’s an elephant standing in the room shitting all over everything and nobody is saying anything. I’m just dying to say, 'Hey, do you ever feel like jumping off a bridge?' or 'Do you feel an emptiness inside your chest at night that is going to swallow you?' But you can’t say that at a cocktail party.
”
”
Paul Gilmartin
β€œ
I’d like to go out in the front yard and shout something. β€œNone of this is worth it!” That’s what I’d like people to hear.
”
”
Raymond Carver (Elephant and Other Stories)
β€œ
I assure you I will not kill you," said Inigo. "I know that," said Vimes. "But will you try?
”
”
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
β€œ
Now he saw another elephant emerge from the place where it had stood hidden in the trees. Very slowly it walked to the mutilated body and looked down. With its sinuous trunk it struck the huge corpse; then it reached up, broke some leafy branches with a snap, and draped them over the mass of torn thick flesh. Finally it tilted its massive head, raised its trunk, and roared into the empty landscape.
”
”
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
β€œ
Sybil’s female forebears had valiantly backed up their husbands as distant embassies were besieged, had given birth on a camel or in the shade of a stricken elephant, had handed around the little gold chocolates while trolls were trying to break into the compound, or had merely stayed at home and nursed such bits of husbands and sons as made it back from endless little wars.Β  The result was a species of woman who, when duty called, turned into solid steel.
”
”
Terry Pratchett (Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch #7))
β€œ
Never, oh! never, nothing will die; The stream flows, The wind blows, The cloud fleets, The heart beats, Nothing will die.
”
”
Alfred Tennyson
β€œ
Ego Tripping I was born in the congo I walked to the fertile crescent and built the sphinx I designed a pyramid so tough that a star that only glows every one hundred years falls into the center giving divine perfect light I am bad I sat on the throne drinking nectar with allah I got hot and sent an ice age to europe to cool my thirst My oldest daughter is nefertiti the tears from my birth pains created the nile I am a beautiful woman I gazed on the forest and burned out the sahara desert with a packet of goat's meat and a change of clothes I crossed it in two hours I am a gazelle so swift so swift you can't catch me For a birthday present when he was three I gave my son hannibal an elephant He gave me rome for mother's day My strength flows ever on My son noah built new/ark and I stood proudly at the helm as we sailed on a soft summer day I turned myself into myself and was jesus men intone my loving name All praises All praises I am the one who would save I sowed diamonds in my back yard My bowels deliver uranium the filings from my fingernails are semi-precious jewels On a trip north I caught a cold and blew My nose giving oil to the arab world I am so hip even my errors are correct I sailed west to reach east and had to round off the earth as I went The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid across three continents I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal I cannot be comprehended except by my permission I mean...I...can fly like a bird in the sky...
”
”
Nikki Giovanni
β€œ
Brod's life was a slow realization that the world was not for her, and that for whatever reason, she would never be happy and honest at the same time. She felt as if she were brimming, always producing and hoarding more love inside of her. But there was no release. Table, ivory, elephant charm, rainbow, onion, hairdo, mollusk, Shabbos, violence, cuticle, melodrama, ditch, honey, doily...None of it moved her. She addressed her world honestly, searching for something deserving of the volumes of love she knew she had within her, but to each she would have to say, I don't love you. Bark-brown fence post: I don't love you. Poem too long: I don't love you. Lunch in a bowl: I don't love you. Physics, the idea of you, the laws of you: I don't love you. Nothing felt like anything more than what it actually was. Everything was just a thing, mired completely in its thingness. If we were to open a random page in her journal- which she must have kept and kept with her at all times, not fearing that it would be lost, or discovered and read, but that she would one day stumble upon that thing which was finally worth writing about and remembering, only to find that she had no place to write it- we would find some rendering of the following sentiment: I am not in love.
”
”
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)
β€œ
Age is terrible thief. Just when you're getting the hang of life, it knocks your legs out from under you and stoops your back
”
”
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
I had my whole life planned.. I knew exactly where it was taking me..
”
”
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
How is it that everyone on this train has so much alcohol?" "We always head to Canada at the beginning of the season," she says taking her seat again. "Their laws are much more civilized. Cheers.
”
”
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.
”
”
Ina May Gaskin (Ina May's Guide to Childbirth)
β€œ
And everywhere, infinite options, infinite possibilities. An infinity, and at the same time, zero. We try to scoop it all up in our hands, and what we get is a handful of zero. That's the city
”
”
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
You have to make an effort to always look at the good side, always think about the good things. Then you've got nothing to be afraid of. If something bad comes up, you do more thinking at that point.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
The Babar the Elephant book is sitting in front of me. I pick it up and start reading it. I remember reading it as a small Boy and enjoying it and imagining that I was friends with Babar, his constant Companion during all of his adventures. He went to the moon, I went with him. He fought Tomb Raiders in Egypt, I fought alongside him. He rescued his elephant girlfriend from Ivory Hunters on the Savanna, I coordinated the getaway. I loved that goddamn Elephant and I loved being his friend. In a childhood full of unhappiness and rage, Babar is one of the few pleasant memories that I have. Me and Babar, kicking some motherfucking ass.
”
”
James Frey
β€œ
All he knew was that you couldn't hope to try for the big stuff, like world peace and happiness, but you might just about be able to achieve some tiny deed that'd make the world, in a small way, a better place. Like shooting someone.
”
”
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
β€œ
This, milord, is my family's axe. We have owned it for almost nine hundred years, see. Of course, sometimes it needed a new blade. And sometimes it has required a new handle, new designs on the metalwork, a little refreshing of the ornamentation . . . but is this not the nine hundred-year-old axe of my family? And because it has changed gently over time, it is still a pretty good axe, y'know. Pretty good.
”
”
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
β€œ
Yet, at the same time, as the Eastern sages also knew, man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many waysβ€”the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with. The lower animals are, of course, spared this painful contradiction, as they lack a symbolic identity and the self-consciousness that goes with it. They merely act and move reflexively as they are driven by their instincts. If they pause at all, it is only a physical pause; inside they are anonymous, and even their faces have no name. They live in a world without time, pulsating, as it were, in a state of dumb being. This is what has made it so simple to shoot down whole herds of buffalo or elephants. The animals don't know that death is happening and continue grazing placidly while others drop alongside them. The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one's dreams and even the most sun-filled daysβ€”that's something else.
”
”
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
β€œ
The most important thing we've learned, So far as children are concerned, Is never, NEVER, NEVER let Them near your television set -- Or better still, just don't install The idiotic thing at all. In almost every house we've been, We've watched them gaping at the screen. They loll and slop and lounge about, And stare until their eyes pop out. (Last week in someone's place we saw A dozen eyeballs on the floor.) They sit and stare and stare and sit Until they're hypnotised by it, Until they're absolutely drunk With all that shocking ghastly junk. Oh yes, we know it keeps them still, They don't climb out the window sill, They never fight or kick or punch, They leave you free to cook the lunch And wash the dishes in the sink -- But did you ever stop to think, To wonder just exactly what This does to your beloved tot? IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD! IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD! IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND! IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND! HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE! HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE! HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES! 'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say, 'But if we take the set away, What shall we do to entertain Our darling children? Please explain!' We'll answer this by asking you, 'What used the darling ones to do? 'How used they keep themselves contented Before this monster was invented?' Have you forgotten? Don't you know? We'll say it very loud and slow: THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ, AND READ and READ, and then proceed To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half their lives was reading books! The nursery shelves held books galore! Books cluttered up the nursery floor! And in the bedroom, by the bed, More books were waiting to be read! Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales And treasure isles, and distant shores Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars, And pirates wearing purple pants, And sailing ships and elephants, And cannibals crouching 'round the pot, Stirring away at something hot. (It smells so good, what can it be? Good gracious, it's Penelope.) The younger ones had Beatrix Potter With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter, And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland, And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and- Just How The Camel Got His Hump, And How the Monkey Lost His Rump, And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul, There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole- Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall. Then fill the shelves with lots of books, Ignoring all the dirty looks, The screams and yells, the bites and kicks, And children hitting you with sticks- Fear not, because we promise you That, in about a week or two Of having nothing else to do, They'll now begin to feel the need Of having something to read. And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy! You watch the slowly growing joy That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen They'll wonder what they'd ever seen In that ridiculous machine, That nauseating, foul, unclean, Repulsive television screen! And later, each and every kid Will love you more for what you did.
”
”
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1))
β€œ
Vimes had once discussed the Ephebian idea of β€˜democracy’ with Carrot, and had been rather interested in the idea that everyone had a vote until he found out that while he, Vimes, would have a vote, there was no way in the rules that anyone could prevent Nobby Nobbs from having one as well. Vimes could see the flaw there straight away.
”
”
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
β€œ
A Ritual to Read to Each Other If you don’t know the kind of person I am and I don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star. For there is many a small betrayal in the mind, a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood storming out to play through the broken dyke. And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail, but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park, I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty to know what occurs but not recognize the fact. And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy, a remote important region in all who talk: though we could fool each other, we should consider--- lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark. For it is important that awake people be awake, or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; the signals we give---yes or no, or maybe--- should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
”
”
William Stafford
β€œ
There is an Indian story -- at least I heard it as an Indian story -- about an Englishman who, having been told that the world rested on a platform which rested on the back of an elephant which rested in turn on the back of a turtle, asked (perhaps he was an ethnographer; it is the way they behave), what did the turtle rest on? Another turtle. And that turtle? 'Ah, Sahib, after that it is turtles all the way down
”
”
Clifford Geertz (The Interpretation of Cultures)
β€œ
We have been led to imagine all sorts of things infinitely more marvelous than the imagining of poets and dreamers of the past. It shows that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man. For instance, how much more remarkable it is for us all to be stuck-half of us upside down-by a mysterious attraction, to a spinning ball that has been swinging in space for billions of years, than to be carried on the back of an elephant supported on a tortoise swimming in a bottomless sea.
”
”
Richard P. Feynman (What Do You Care What Other People Think?)
β€œ
You know you really need some help. A regular psychiatrist couldn't even help you. You need to go to like Vienna or something. You know what I mean? You need to get involved at the University level. Like where Freud studied and have all those people looking at you and checking up on you. That's the kind of help you need. Not the once a week for eighty bucks. No. You need a team. A team of psychiatrists working round the clock thinking about you, having conferences, observing you, like the way they did with the Elephant Man. That's what I'm talking about because that's the only way you're going to get better.
”
”
Jerry Seinfeld
β€œ
Afterward, I curl around her. We lie in silence until darkness falls, and then, haltingly, she begins to talk...She speaks without need or even room for response, so I simply hold her and stroke her hair. She talks of the pain, grief, and horror of the past four years; of learning to cope with being the wife of a man so violent and unpredictable his touch made her skin crawl and of thinking, until quite recently, that she'd finally managed to do that. And then, finally, of how my appearance had forced her to realize she hadn't learned to cope at all.
”
”
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
Some Hindus have an elephant to show. No one here has ever seen an elephant. They bring it at night to a dark room. One by one, we go in the dark and come out saying how we experience the animal. One of us happens to touch the trunk. A water-pipe kind of creature. Another, the ear. A strong, always moving back and forth, fan-animal. Another, the leg. I find it still, like a column on a temple. Another touches the curve back. A leathery throne. Another, the cleverest, feels the tusk. A rounded sword made of porcelain. He is proud of his description. Each of us touches one place and understands the whole in that way. The palm and the fingers feeling in the dark are how the senses explore the reality of the elephant. If each of us held a candle there, and if we went in together, we could see it.
”
”
Rumi (A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings)
β€œ
I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us. They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded Dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off. They are inclined to be fat in the stomach; they dress in bright colours (chiefly green and yellow); wear no...
”
”
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
β€œ
And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west. The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other's 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
He stares at me, and then leans back in his chair. "He's ill, Jacob." I say nothing. "He's a paragon schnitzophonic." "He's what?!" "Paragon schnitzophonic," repeats Uncle Al. "You mean paranoid schizophrenic?" "Sure. Whatever. But the bottom line is he's mad as a hatter...
”
”
Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
Japan and Hong Kong are steadily whittling away at the last of the elephants, turning their tusks (so much more elegant left on the elephant) into artistic carvings. In much the same way, the beautiful furs from leopard, jaguar, Snow leopard, Clouded leopard and so on, are used to clad the inelegant bodies of thoughtless and, for the most part, ugly women. I wonder how many would buy these furs if they knew that on their bodies they wore the skin of an animal that, when captured, was killed by the medieval and agonizing method of having a red-hot rod inserted up its rectum so as not to mark the skin.
”
”
Gerald Durrell (The Aye-Aye and I)
β€œ
Of all African animals, the elephant is the most difficult for man to live with, yet its passing - if this must come - seems the most tragic of all. I can watch elephants (and elephants alone) for hours at a time, for sooner or later the elephant will do something very strange such as mow grass with its toenails or draw the tusks from the rotted carcass of another elephant and carry them off into the bush. There is mystery behind that masked gray visage, and ancient life force, delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea.
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Peter Matthiessen (The Tree Where Man Was Born)
β€œ
Sometimes when you get older β€” and I’m not talking about you, I’m talking generally, because everyone ages differently β€” things you think on and wish on start to seem real. And then you believe them, and before you know it they’re part of your history, and if someone challenges you on them and says they’re not true β€” why, then you get offended because you can’t remember the first part. All you know is that you’ve been called a liar.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
it occurred to me what a simple thing reality is, how easy it is to make it work. It's just reality. Just housework. Just a home. Like running a simple machine. Once you learn to run it, it's just a matter of repetition. You push this button and pull that lever. You adjust a gauge, put on the lid, set the timer. The same thing, over and over.
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Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
I think what hurts the most is that I just really want to belong. I want to stand inside the circle of other people and be noticed for the right things, but it seems like the wrong things are always bigger. And all the advie I've ever read --smile more, be yourself, dream big, stay positive--seems to have some darker side that's never mentioned.
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Jane Devin (Elephant Girl: A Human Story)
β€œ
I used to think I preferred getting old to the alternative, but now I'm not sure. Sometimes the momotony of bingo and sing-alongs and ancient dusty people parked in teh hallway in wheelchairs makes me long for death. Particularly when I rememver that I'm one of the ancient dusty people, filed away like some worthless tchotchke.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon. Our government's got a war on drugs....But get this: The two most widely abused and addictive and destructive of all substances are both perfectly legal. One, of course, is ethyl alcohol. And President George W. Bush, no less, and by his own admission, was smashed, or tiddley-poo, or four sheets to the wind a good deal of time from when he was sixteen until he was forty. When he was forty-one, he says, Jesus appeared to him and made him knock off the sauce, stop gargling nose paint. Other drunks have seen pink elephants.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
β€œ
Secrets are like plants. They can stay buried deep in the earth for a long time, but eventually they'll send up shoots and give themselves away. They have to. It's their nature. Just a tiny green stem at first. Which slowly, insidiously grows taller, stronger, unfolding itself, until there it is. A big fat secret, right in front of your face; a fully bloomed flower perfumed with the scent of deception.
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Judy Reene Singer (Still Life With Elephant)
β€œ
The main hallway of the Sternwood place was two stories high. Over the entrance doors, which would have let in a troop of Indian elephants, there was a broad stained-glass panel showing a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree and didn’t have any clothes on but some very long and convenient hair. The knight had pushed the vizor of his helmet back to be sociable, and he was fiddling with the knots on the ropes that tied the lady to the tree and not getting anywhere. I stood there and thought that if I lived in the house, I would sooner or later have to climb up there and help him. He didn’t seem to be really trying.
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Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe #1))
β€œ
In your thirties something strange starts to happen. It’s a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I’m β€” you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you’re not. You’re thirty-five. And then you’re bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it’s decades before you admit it.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
I open the orangutan's door and set a pan of fruits, vegetables, and nuts on the floor. As I close it, her long arm reaches through the bars. She points at an orange in another pan. 'That? You want that?' She continues to point, blinking at me with close-set eyes. Her features are concave, her face a wide platter fringed with red hair. She's the most outrageous and beautiful thing I've ever seen. 'Here,' I say, handing her the orange. 'You can have it.' She takes it and sets it on the floor. Then she reaches out again. After several seconds of serious misgivings, I hold out my hand. She wraps her long fingers around it, then lets go. She sits on her haunches and peels her orange. I stare in amazement. She was thanking me.
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Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants)
β€œ
After that summer, after being friends with Won-a-nee and her young, I never killed another otter. I had an otter cape for my shoulders, which I used until it wore out, but never again did I make a new one. Nor did I ever kill another cormorant for its beautiful feathers, though they have long, think necks and make ugly sounds when they talk to each other. Nor did I kill seals for their sinews, using instead kelp to bind the things that needed it. Nor did I kill another wild dog, nor did I try to speak another sea elephant. Ulape would have laughed at me, and other would have laughed, too -- my father most of all. Yet this is the way I felt about the animals who had become my friends and those who were not, bu in time could be. If Ulape and my father had come back and laughed, and all the other had come back and laughed, still I would have felt the same way, for animals and birds are like people, too, though they do no talk the same or do the same things. Without them the earth would be an unhappy place.
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Scott O'Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins)
β€œ
I Keep Six Honest Serving Men ..." I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who. I send them over land and sea, I send them east and west; But after they have worked for me, I give them all a rest. I let them rest from nine till five, For I am busy then, As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea, For they are hungry men. But different folk have different views; I know a person smallβ€” She keeps ten million serving-men, Who get no rest at all! She sends'em abroad on her own affairs, From the second she opens her eyesβ€” One million Hows, two million Wheres, And seven million Whys!
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Rudyard Kipling (The Elephant's Child (Just So Stories))
β€œ
Wildlife, we are constantly told, would run loose across our towns and cities were it not for the sport hunters to control their population, as birds would blanket the skies without the culling services of Ducks Unlimited and other groups. Yet here they are breeding wild animals, year after year replenishing the stock, all for the sole purpose of selling and killing them, deer and bears and elephants so many products being readied for the market. Animals such as deer, we are told, have no predators in many areas, and therefore need systematic culling. Yet when attempts are made to reintroduce natural predators such as wolves and coyotes into these very areas, sport hunters themselves are the first to resist it. Weaker animals in the wild, we hear, will only die miserable deaths by starvation and exposure without sport hunters to control their population. Yet it's the bigger, stronger animals they're killing and wounding--the very opposite of natural selection--often with bows and pistols that only compound and prolong the victim's suffering.
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Matthew Scully (Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy)
β€œ
Wolves hate werewolves.' 'What? That can't be right! When she's wolf-shaped she's just like a wolf!' 'So? When she's human-shaped she's just like a human. And what's that got to do with anything? Humans don't like werewolves. Wolves don't like werewolves. People don't like wolves that can think like people, an' people don't like people who can act like wolves. Which just goes to show that people are the same everywhere.' said Gaspode. He assessed this sentence and added, 'Even when they're wolves.
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Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
β€œ
Memory is like fiction; or else it's fiction that's like memory. This really came home to me once I started writing fiction, that memory seemed a kind of fiction, or vice versa. Either way, no matter how hard you try to put everything neatly into shape, the context wanders this way and that, until finally the context isn't even there anymore. You're left with this pile of kittens lolling all over one another. Warm with life, hopelessly unstable. And then to put these things out as saleable items, you call them finished products - at times it's downright embarrassing just to think of it. Honestly, it can make me blush.
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Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
β€œ
poetry readings have to be some of the saddest damned things ever, the gathering of the clansmen and clanladies, week after week, month after month, year after year, getting old together, reading on to tiny gatherings, still hoping their genius will be discovered, making tapes together, discs together, sweating for applause they read basically to and for each other, they can't find a New York publisher or one within miles, but they read on and on in the poetry holes of America, never daunted, never considering the possibility that their talent might be thin, almost invisible, they read on and on before their mothers, their sisters, their husbands, their wives, their friends, the other poets and the handful of idiots who have wandered in from nowhere. I am ashamed for them, I am ashamed that they have to bolster each other, I am ashamed for their lisping egos, their lack of guts. if these are our creators, please, please give me something else: a drunken plumber at a bowling alley, a prelim boy in a four rounder, a jock guiding his horse through along the rail, a bartender on last call, a waitress pouring me a coffee, a drunk sleeping in a deserted doorway, a dog munching a dry bone, an elephant's fart in a circus tent, a 6 p.m. freeway crush, the mailman telling a dirty joke anything anything but these.
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Charles Bukowski
β€œ
He took his hands off the oars and pulled in the mooring rope. If I make a couple of loops, he thought, I can strap the axe on to my back. He had a mental picture of what could happen to a man who plunged into the cauldron below a waterfall with a sharp piece of metal attached to his body. GOOD MORNING. Vimes blinked. A tall dark robed figure was now sitting in the boat. 'Are you Death?' IT'S THE SCYTHE, ISN'T IT? PEOPLE ALWAYS NOTICE THE SCYTHE. 'I'm going to die?' POSSIBLY. 'Possibly? You turn up when people are possibly going to die?' OH, YES. IT'S QUITE THE NEW THING. IT'S BECAUSE OF THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE. 'What's that?' I'M NOT SURE. 'That's very helpful.
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Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
β€œ
Hardly had the light been extinguished, when a peculiar trembling began to affect the netting under which the three children lay. It consisted of a multitude of dull scratches which produced a metallic sound, as if claws and teeth were gnawing at the copper wire. This was accompanied by all sorts of little piercing cries. The little five-year-old boy, on hearing this hubbub overhead, and chilled with terror, jogged his brother's elbow; but the elder brother had already shut his peepers, as Gavroche had ordered. Then the little one, who could no longer control his terror, questioned Gavroche, but in a very low tone, and with bated breath:-- "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche, who had just closed his eyes. "What is that?" "It's the rats," replied Gavroche. And he laid his head down on the mat again. The rats, in fact, who swarmed by thousands in the carcass of the elephant, and who were the living black spots which we have already mentioned, had been held in awe by the flame of the candle, so long as it had been lighted; but as soon as the cavern, which was the same as their city, had returned to darkness, scenting what the good story-teller Perrault calls "fresh meat," they had hurled themselves in throngs on Gavroche's tent, had climbed to the top of it, and had begun to bite the meshes as though seeking to pierce this new-fangled trap. Still the little one could not sleep. "Sir?" he began again. "Hey?" said Gavroche. "What are rats?" "They are mice." This explanation reassured the child a little. He had seen white mice in the course of his life, and he was not afraid of them. Nevertheless, he lifted up his voice once more. "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche again. "Why don't you have a cat?" "I did have one," replied Gavroche, "I brought one here, but they ate her." This second explanation undid the work of the first, and the little fellow began to tremble again. The dialogue between him and Gavroche began again for the fourth time:-- "Monsieur?" "Hey?" "Who was it that was eaten?" "The cat." "And who ate the cat?" "The rats." "The mice?" "Yes, the rats." The child, in consternation, dismayed at the thought of mice which ate cats, pursued:-- "Sir, would those mice eat us?" "Wouldn't they just!" ejaculated Gavroche. The child's terror had reached its climax. But Gavroche added:-- "Don't be afraid. They can't get in. And besides, I'm here! Here, catch hold of my hand. Hold your tongue and shut your peepers!
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Victor Hugo (Les MisΓ©rables)
β€œ
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set β€˜em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep β€˜em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
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Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
β€œ
When Magnus looked at Imasu, he saw Imasu had dropped his head into his hands. "Er," Magnus said. "Are you quite all right?" "I was simply overcome," Imasu said in a faint voice. Magnus preened slightly. "Ah. Well." "By how awful that was," Imasu said. Magnus blinked. "Pardon?" "I can't live a lie any longer!" Imasu burst out. "I have tried to be encouraging. Dignitaries of the town have been sent to me, asking me to plead with you to stop. My own sainted mother begged me, with tears in her eyes - " "It isn't as bad as all that - " "Yes, it is!" It was like a dam of musical critique had broken. Imasu turned on him with eyes that flashed instead of shining. "It is worse than you can possibly imagine! When you play, all of my mother's flowers lose the will to live and expire on the instant. The quinoa has no flavor now. The llamas are migrating because of your music, and llamas are not a migratory animal. The children now believe there is a sickly monster, half horse and half large mournful chicken, that lives in the lake and calls out to the world to grant it the sweet release of death. The townspeople believe that you and I are performing arcane magic rituals - " "Well, that one was rather a good guess," Magnus remarked. " - using the skull of an elephant, an improbably large mushroom, and one of your very peculiar hats!" "Or not," said Magnus. "Furthermore, my hats are extraordinary." "I will not argue with that." Imasu scrubbed a hand through his thick black hair, which curled and clung to his fingers like inky vines. "Look, I know that I was wrong. I saw a handsome man, thought that it would not hurt to talk a little about music and strike up a common interest, but I don't deserve this. You are going to get stoned in the town square, and if I have to listen to you play again, I will drown myself in the lake." "Oh," said Magnus, and he began to grin. "I wouldn't. I hear there is a dreadful monster living in that lake." Imasu seemed to still be brooding about Magnus's charango playing, a subject that Magnus had lost all interest in. "I believe the world will end with a noise like the noise you make!" "Interesting," said Magnus, and he threw his charango out the window. "Magnus!" "I believe that music and I have gone as far as we can go together," Magnus said. "A true artiste knows when to surrender." "I can't believe you did that!" Magnus waved a hand airily. "I know, it is heartbreaking, but sometimes one must shut one's ears to the pleas of the muse." "I just meant that those are expensive and I heard a crunch.
”
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Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
β€œ
Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened. One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street. β€œThis is amazing,” he said. β€œI’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.” β€œAnd you,” she said to him, β€œare the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.” They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle. As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily? And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, β€œLet’s test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?” β€œYes,” she said, β€œthat is exactly what we should do.” And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west. The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully. One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank. They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love. Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty. One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew: She is the 100% perfect girl for me. He is the 100% perfect boy for me. But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever. A sad story, don’t you think?
”
”
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)