The giant of Nantes


Patricia Ripnel

Photo courtesy Patricia Ripnel


THE elephant of Nantes is slow, VERY big, very famous, and mechanical.  He’s made of metal that looks like wood. He comes out four or five times a day to walk around our city for an hour.  There is a 10 minute break after each walk and then he starts again.  There is a person who drives the elephant and two or three security people walking near him, because you musn’t go near him. It is dangerous because his legs go up and down and he could really hurt you if he stepped on you.

     An adult doesn’t come up to his knees, that’s how big he is. The elephant moves around on wheels, but his legs look like a real elephant. They don’t really make him move even though it looks like he’s walking.  

     There is a workshop you can visit with other mechanical machines— like a model submarine [a huge boat that travels under water].  It is not the same size as a real submarine, but it’s still really special to see.  There is a roundabout [merry-go-round] for children, but I’m not sure if it’s made by the elephant people. 

    These are some of the things you can see in my city, Nantes. —A.

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 ©preInterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us: