Jane Addams to Helen Culver, March 26, 1923


My dear Helen

We have been motoring in this beautiful island of Ceylon through rubber and tea plantations and past very charming villages just on the edge of the jungle. In one of the big jungles wild elephants are still found in large numbers and the attitude of the islanders to them and to the [tamer] ones is very interesting. They tell all sorts of stories about them and introduce particular beasts to you, one because he can [dance] -- which [he?] proceeds to do -- two others because they are very kind to an aged elephant who is too feeble to walk alone. They prop him up between them, take [page 2] him to the river for his bath and back again after they have rolled him in the water and wedged him up again by gradually inserting under him [from] their huge feet and then their bodies. To see them bathe in the river after their days work in the forests and lumber yards is over, is one of the sights of this place. They love their keepers very much and the men solemnly tell you that they (the elephants) understand every word said to them. After all this explanation I hope you won't [mind?] if I send you each a picture of them.

We sail next Tuesday for Hong Kong, so that our next postal cards will be sent from China. Affectionately yours

Jane Addams

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