Uncovering the Fascinating Relationship Between Tolstoy and His Elephant - Elephant

Uncovering the Fascinating Relationship Between Tolstoy and His Elephant


Leo Tolstoy, the legendary Russian author, had a peculiar relationship with his pet elephant, on which he rode around his estate. This episode is fascinating, as it uncovers a different aspect of Tolstoy’s life- his love for animals and his interest in moral philosophy.

The story of Tolstoy and his elephant begins in the late 19th century, when Tolstoy had become a renowned writer and was living with his family in their estate, Yasnaya Polyana. Tolstoy, who was a vegetarian and a pacifist, had a deep love for animals and often spoke about their welfare in his literary works.

One day, Tolstoy’s friend presented him with an unusual gift- an elephant named Tundruk. Tundruk, who was originally from India, had been brought to Russia as a gift for the tsar. However, the tsar had no interest in keeping the elephant and gave it to Tolstoy.

Initially, Tolstoy was apprehensive about keeping an elephant in his estate, as he had no prior experience of handling such a large animal. But soon, Tolstoy and Tundruk developed a unique bond, and Tolstoy started using the elephant as his mode of transport.

Tolstoy would ride on Tundruk’s back, around his estate, and enjoy the beauty of nature. During these rides, Tolstoy would often engage in deep conversations with the elephant and share his thoughts on morality and the value of life.

Tolstoy’s relationship with Tundruk is a beautiful example of the author’s love for animals and his belief in non-violence. Tolstoy believed that every life had its own value, and it was our responsibility to show compassion and respect to all living beings.

The friendship between Tolstoy and Tundruk came to an end after a few years when Tundruk became seriously ill and passed away soon after. Tolstoy was inconsolable and wrote a moving tribute to Tundruk, titled “The Elephant.”

In conclusion, the engaging relationship between Leo Tolstoy and his elephant Tundruk reveals a different side of the writer’s personality. His love for animals and his belief in non-violence is evident in this beautiful friendship. This episode reminds us of our duty to respect and show compassion to all living beings on this planet.

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