The New Generation of Classic Short Stories

Vol. 14, No. 3

The Space Elephant

by Téa Obreht

One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.
—Salvador Dalí

There is a very old man who lives on Ampurdan Beach in a house made entirely of knotted driftwood, and he has a space elephant. This is a matter of fact, and everything about it is as matter-of-fact as the old man himself, as matter-of-fact as something you might read in a newspaper. The old man has had the space elephant since he was twenty or twenty-one, which is a long time. The house is more recent, and most people want to hear about it, about its beachcombed doorways and the way the sea has smoothed the chimney.

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