E is for … elephant!
That saying came to life Wednesday morning for Orchard Place Elementary School students in Des Plaines, who were paid a visit by the biggest stars of the Greatest Show on Earth.
Nine performing pachyderms from the latest edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus stopped in at the school while conducting their annual parade in conjunction with the circus' arrival at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.
More than 350 children watched as Asia, Assan, Baby, Banko, Luna, Sarah, Siam II, Toby and Tonka gave a nine-trunk salute to the kids before heading to the Allstate Arena, where they will be performing starting Thursday, Nov. 3, and running through Sunday, Nov. 13.
Fifth grader and president of the student council Juan Cabrales had the honor of feeding Asia, the lead elephant, a loaf of bread as a treat for visiting the school.
"I was scared at first," said Juan, "but I gained a little more confidence after feeding him the bread."
When asked if the elephants smelled bad, Juan replied, "not until they went to the bathroom."
Rene D. Carranza, principal of the school, said he was excited he got the opportunity to have the elephants visit his school.
"I thought the kids would really enjoy getting a closer perspective of the elephants, and seeing what they're really like in person."