Rotterdam, curiosités

Témoignage de John Evelyn (1641).

Here I first saw an elephant, who was extremely well disciplined an obedient. It was a beast of a monstrous size, yet as flexible and nimble in the joints, contrary to the vulgar tradition, as could be imagined from so prodigious a bulk and strange fabric ; but I most of all admired the dexterity and strength of its proboscis, on which it was able to support two or three men, and by which it took and reached whatever was offered to it ; its teeth were but short, being a female, and not old. I was also shown a pelican, or onocratulas of Pliny, with its large gullets, in which he kept his reserve of fish ; the plumage was white, legs red, flat, and film-footed : likewise a cock with four legs, two rumps and vents : also a hen which had two large spurs growing out of her sides, penetrating the feathers of her wings.

(The diary of John Evelyn, Ed. William Bray, J.M. DENT et E.P DULTON, London-New York, 1905, Tome 1, p.22.)