The Elephant Did Not Take Kindly to New Fangled Schemes.
The king of Dahomey received some Krupp cannon not long ago and conceived the idea of having them mounted on elephants' backs for use in the field.
With much difficulty this project was carried out, and at the next military review the king ordered that one of the guns be fired immediately in front of the royal position, first taking the precaution to place a couple of thousand prisoners where it was calculated the ball would strike, so as to judge of the effectiveness of the shot.
When all was ready, one of the biggest elephants was backed around and sighted. Just as the lanyard was jerked, however, the animal turned half round to reach for a peanut or something, and the shell took off the prime minister's head and knocked a hole as big as a sewer through the royal palace.
His majesty wouldn't have cared so much if the matter had ended there — as the minister wasn't very prime, and the palace needed ventilation — but it didn't.
On the contrary, the elephant, which had been stood on its head by the recoil, picked itself up in a fury and started in on the down grade ahead of its ticket.
It upset the grand stand the very first rush, slung the grand chamberlain and the past grand carver of missionaries into the next street. It then jumped into the brass band with all four feet, and if it hadn't got the big drum over its heed so that it couldn't see it would probably have cleaned out the entire congregation.
The king was not found until the next morning, and then, as he slid down out of a banana tree, he was heard to remark that there was only one thing needed to render his new artillery system an entire success — that was to get the enemy to adopt it. — Amusing Journal.
Boat House Burned
New York, 1895
The training quarters of the Ravenswood Boat club, on Newtown creek, Long Island City, was destroyed by fire Thursday evening.
—The Long Island Farmer, Jamaica, NY, May 3, 1895, p. 5.
Friday, July 11, 2008