E Is For Elephant. And Only Elephant.

Edith has about twenty baby books that feature a page for each letter of the alphabet with an illustration of some noun that begins with that letter. These books are not exactly page-turners for me, but one way I keep my interest up is by noting the different choices that the various authors make when it comes to a letter’s representative noun. They are always different — a “B” in one book will be a bee, in another book, it is a bear (animals are always heavily featured)! And so on.

All except for one letter. The letter “e.” “A” is usually apple, but it might very well be ant or airplane. “Z” is typically zebra, but it could be zoo or zipper. Even “x” has a 50/50 chance of being xylophone or x-ray (or, in one of my old children’s books, King Xerxes).

But “e” is always elephant to the end of the page.

Why? I mean, elephants are rad, I’m the first to admit. It’s hard to get sick of elephants. Still, variety is the spice of life, and “e” is not an especially challenging letter to represent! It’s certainly no “x”! There are tons of “e” nouns. Off the top of my head there’s:

  • eggplant
  • emu
  • ear
  • elevator
  • evidence
  • Enid Blyton
  • echidna
  • Edith
  • Elizabeth
  • error
  • espalier

And I’m sure many others!

But, no. Wherever you see an “e” an elephant is sure to follow. I suspect the all powerful elephant lobby is to blame. Follow the money.


  1. Sometimes E for Euphrates ….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Zandy says:

    When I read these with Grant, we add to the letters. So E is for Elephant, and also Eleanor. H is for Hammer and also Henry and Harrison. G is for Garden and also Grant. Sometimes we forget until we’re at Q is for Quail, and we have to go back to E and start over to get everyone included.


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