ON THE BACK OF THE CARD:
Newton Chapel African Elephant was born with a curiosity about music. Understandably really, as he watched the herd respond to seemingly inaudible sound vibrations from many miles away. Or felt the thunderous drum-like beats reverberate to his core when running with the clan. As a toddler, he would rummage through his parents' music collection with pencil in hand, unwinding every cassette tape they had in the hopes of finding the music it held. It’s abstruse and ethereal nature only furthered his fascination.
To celebrate his second birthday, the herd saved its pennies for something very special. It arrived in a huge shipping crate, weeks early, which gave him plenty of time to investigate. Running his incredibly sensitive sniffer along every crack and seam, Newtie hoped the treasure would reveal itself. It did not. Accompanying this was a second box, especially for him from his parents, very beautifully wrapped, and clearly a partner to the peregrine present.
When his big day arrived, it took Newtie all of ten seconds to break into the box. Silence. He looked at the odd thing, and then at his family and friends, and back at the odd thing. Helping him open the smaller parcel, a collection of classic records, they placed one onto the turntable of the odd thing and flipped a switch. Newton jumped back in surprise. Music resounded from the odd thing’s nose. Instinctively, and to everyone’s amusement, he trumpeted back a reply. They had gifted him a gramophone and, after explaining just what it was and how it worked, Newtie was in love.
While he no longer tries to find where the music hides, he’s enthralled with this magical device. It continues to gift him with respite, strength, inspiration, revelry, reverie, comfort, connection and, paradoxically, moments where he can both lose and find himself.