STORIES of the drinking habits of elephants are amongst the repertoire of Mr. Petersen, the advance representative of Wirth’s Circus.
One of the animals belonging to the circus developed its unhappy failing one day when being driven from a matinee to stables in Cooper street.
A merry half-drunk, outside a hotel, seeing a cavalcade approaching, rushed in for a mug of beer, which he thrust towards the elephant as it passed, extending its trunk in quest of offerings, after the manner of its kind.
The beer disappeared in a twinkling, and with an appreciative snort and a flapping of its ears, the elephant returned the emptied mug for more.
After that it was difficult to get the elephant past a hotel without satisfying its craving for a taste. Special vigilance was exercised, but once at Forbes (NSW), this vigilance being relaxed, the animal moved swiftly to a corner hotel, and thrust its trunk through the swing door.
There was a howl from within, followed by a fearful clatter. A man who had been drinking heavily, and had fallen into a doze on a bench in the bar, was awakened by the noise at the door.
What he saw appeared to him like a snake hovering in the air. With a yell he leaped over the bar, heedless of the bottles he knocked over, and, dashing through the publican’s private office, dived out of the window.
–The Sun (Sydney) Sunday 18 September 1932
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