* Prices may differ from that shown
~Never Look a Gift Elephant in the Trunk~ My sister is not a very reliable giver of birthday presents. For many years she used to give me a birthday present a week or two before HER birthday. She would panic and realise that she'd forgotten mine yet again and might therefore not get a present . This might not sound so unusual but my birthday is in March and hers is just a few days before Christmas. More recently I've just told her not to bother - I'm not an easy person to buy for and I don't mind not having birthday presents at all. This year as part of a totally unexpected decision by my parents to spring a really big surprise on me two weeks after my birthday (more to follow on that one) I think my sister thought she'd better make an effort. The result of this was the subject of this review - Elvis, my cute little elephant door stop. I was so surprised about getting a present that I barely stopped to register surprise at what it was. If you'd asked me to write a list of all the things I could imagine getting as a gift, an elephant doorstop wouldn't have appeared on it. But he's a lovely little fellow and I'm happy to have him in the house. As chance would have it our cuddly cockerel doorstop had taken a bit of a beating just a few days before Elvis entered our lives. The cockerel had been pushed towards our friends' overly excitable three-year old in an attempt to distract her from breaking things. Poor Birdie got carried around by his crest and beak, thrown around and generally abused. Elvis seems more likely to cope and will be taking up prime position by the dining room door, a door which is almost always open and a place from which he can welcome visitors to the house. ~Introducing Elvis~ Elvis is quite a little fella. He stands just 18 cm high and is a similar size horizontally from the tip of his tail to the soles of his feet. He weighs in at an impressively elephantine 1.06 kg (approximately two and a half pounds in 'old money'). His head, arms (or front legs) and back legs are soft-stuffed and the main body is stuffed hard with hefty filling. I have no idea what this filling is but it's extraordinarily dense. It feels like sand but is much too heavy to be that. Perhaps there's a solid weight in the core of his tummy but I can't feel anything obvious and the only way to check would be to slice Elvis open. I can be pretty sure it's not drugs and fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The fabric used to build Elvis is what's laughably referred to as 'faux leather'. I've always wondered if the marketing folk think we're too stupid to know that faux just means FAKE and that faux leather and faux fur are not by products of a mythical beast called a faux. I would even go so far as to call it 'distressed faux leather' - artificial leather further faked to make it look like old battered leather. His tummy is of another fabric - I'm sure they'd call it 'faux suedette' or something equally bizarre. The rest of the body is dark brown and this lighter brown , slightly furry tummy contrasts nicely with the rest of Elvis. Real elephants do not have furry tummies so this is artistic license. Real elephants DO have beady eyes and so does Elvis. His ears are in proportion with his body and his trunk is gathered in folds at the head end so that it curls upward. At the points where the limbs join the body, decorative buttons have been sewn onto his skin in a style designed to remind us of old teddy bears. He's missing a mouth which means he's cheap to feed and he won't poop all over the place either - another advantage over having a real elephant in the house. ~Finding a Job for Elvis~ With the exception of the bathroom in our main guest room which tends to swing shut and trap our little cat inside, none of our doors are really prone to moving or to swinging in the breeze so Elvis's job is an easy one. Basically he just sits around, looks cute, welcomes visitors and occasionally attempts to trip people up if they don't look where they're going or they haven't turned the lights on. If you'd like to invest in one of Elvis's kinsfolk, you can find little ones like him on Amazon for about £20 and his larger, elder siblings for about £35. My guess would be that Amazon charge quite a lot as these are heavy items to deliver and I'd be amazed if my sister had paid that much. Elvis is not a toy and he has a few small parts - buttons and eyes - so he's best kept away from small children. Advice that his new friend, the very nervous cockerel wishes we'd heeded before letting Maya play with him.