The Elephants in the Duct Work

A few days ago, four-year-old was on the vent in the morning, getting warmed up as the heat blew in from below. She loves getting a blankie, throwing it over the top of her and having the warm air blast her all around.

Four-year-old was enjoying the moment until the air turned off. “Mommy,” she frowned, “the elephants went back to sleep!”

“What?” I asked, certain I hadn’t heard her correctly.

“The elephants stopped blowing,” she repeated. “I guess they went back to sleep.”

“Oh, what do the elephants do?” I asked.

“The elephants live in our vents. They blow their trunks to warm us up. Sometimes they blow cold air and sometimes they blow warm air, whatever we want.”

“Oh, I see. And how does it all work?” I wondered.

“Well, they blow when they aren’t asleep, or eating or playing. And if I sing to them, they will blow their trunks and keep me warm.”

“Ah,” I smiled, “that makes sense.”


Seven year old, listening to the whole exchange, was stage whispering to me, “Mom, why don’t you just tell her? Isn’t there some kind of fan or something that blows the air? It is not

I took seven-year-old aside and exclaimed, “Sorry, but I’m not going to tell her. That idea is just too cute. Let her believe there are elephants at her beck and call, waiting to blow their trunks just for her. It’s adorable!”

Seven-year-old rolled her eyes at me and huffed, clearly exasperated that I would let such a fallacy stand.

But really, elephants blowing their trunks to keep her warm? And when she sings to them? Could it get any more imaginative and endearing?

I like the idea. Elephants.

Of course, if elephants actually were in the duct work, I’d have to have my ducts cleaned a bit more often.