I've hidden 22 elephants around the world - to remember my granny

A Glasgow woman has hidden 22 elephants around the world - to remember her granny.

Lorn Pearson, 43, has left the ornaments in different countries she has travelled to in memory of her grandmother - Margaret McKenzie Fletcher, who died aged 87. As a little girl, Lorn loved to hear the story of how her grandad, Dr John C Fletcher brought back a wooden elephant from India as a gift for his wife. Remembering the tale aged 22, Lorn found a little white elephant in a gift shop in Glasgow and wrapped it up and sent it to her grandmother for Christmas. But before Margaret had a chance to unwrap it she passed away in December 2002.

The elephant was buried with Lorn's grandmother and she began buying the ornaments from charity shops and leaving them in locations around the world. Lorn has left 22 elephants in different spots for the last 20 years including - Lisbon, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Calpe in Spain, and Tenerife.

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Lorn, a swim coach and data analyst, who lives in Glasgow, said: "It's a way for me to feel comfort. It helps you be resilient. I think she'd love so many people hearing about something comforting. She'd laugh."

Lorn remembers visiting her granny in Lochaline, in the Morvern area of the Scottish Highlands and admiring the wooden elephant which sat in her home.

She said: "I used to visit my granny and I wasn't allowed to touch the elephant. I was told it was very special. My grandad had brought it back as a present under his arm."

After Margaret passed away on December 13, 2002, Lorn found the unwrapped elephant she had bought her.

She said: "It was in limbo and hadn't been unwrapped yet."

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The white elephant was laid to rest with her grandmother and Lorn started buying the ornaments when she spotted them. Lorn said: "I started off in Scotland. There is one in Wick - where I grew up."

The elephants have also been left locally in Pollok Park on what would have been her granny's 100th birthday and under the Squinty Bridge on the Clyde.

Lorn doesn't remember exactly where she has left all the trinkets and says many are now missing from their spots. She said: "It helps turn things into a positive. I find a space when I'm away and reflect."

Lorn also still keeps the last Christmas card she received from her grandmother with a five pound note - which she said she will never spend. She also remembers her grandma when she sees a rainbow - as she loved them.

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Lorn lost her auntie Sheila, 68, in 2014 and remembers her on the full moon as she used to always call on that night. Her mum, Dr Patricia Pearson, 74, passed away in Novemeber 2015 and remembers her when she sees particular numbers as she was obsessed with them. Lorn lost her dad, Dr Maurice R Pearson, 87, in August this year but keeps the memory of him alive when she sees birds and planets.

She said: "Instead of loss and sadness I think how proud he would be of me. He'd want me to be happy. It turns a feeling of loss into something happy." Lorn has a collection of 40 elephants at home - which are gifts from friends. She said: "People keep giving them to me."

She says the elephants have helped her grieve the loss of her granny, while keeping the memories alive.

Places Lorn has left an elephant include

  • Lochaline near Mull - where her granny lived
  • Wick - where Lorn grew up
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • San Diego, Chicago, Boston and New York in the United States
  • Toronto and Vancouver in Canada
  • Calpe and Tenerife, Spain
  • Benderloch on the West Coast of Scotland
  • Two in Pollok Park, one in Queen's Park and under the Squinty Bridge, Glasgow
  • St James Park, London
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