3 Elefantes

At a yard sale my youngest son wanted to buy a little toy and it was 2 for $1. He asked if he could buy 1 for 50 cents and they refused so he bought the toy he wanted and picked a little elephant for Suegra.

He went to Suegra and gave her the elephant and she smiled. “I will have good luck soon because of you,” she said in Spanish. My son smiled and walked away, probably not understanding her words but knowing she was happy.

“Why will you have good luck?” I asked.

She explained that in El Salvador some people believe if you have tres elefantes (three elephants), you will have luck – but the way in which you come to own the elephants is important.

“Uno comprado, uno regalado, y uno robado,” she says with a sly smile.

(One bought, one received as a gift, and one stolen.)

Knowing she has one elephant figurine in her room that she bought years ago, and now this one that my son gave her, I asked about the third.

“Do you have a stolen elephant?” I asked.

“No,” she said… “Not yet.”


  1. Never heard of such a thing! Well, in my house the elephants (don’t remember how many) were placed butt facing the entrance’s door. I asked my grandma (quien contaba las cosas mas inverosimiles) and she said that butt towards the door helped keep “las cosas malas” out of the house! Go figure!
    So…. suegra needs to “tacuacharse” an elephant. Traix, if I were you, I’ll keep some reserved for her bail!

    • Hmm, Suegra’s elefantes aren’t facing away from the door. I wonder if she doesn’t know that one.

      As for bail money – she’s on her own! … She even told me she might do it at a yard sale, so watch out next time you have one!

  2. Jajaja! ¡Qué chistosa!
    I love learning about superstitions around the world. And hey Rimbambo, no sabía que en México asi era también! :D
    What I knew about elephant figurines is that they had to be trump facing the door or facing east, to keep the malas vibras away. Go figure!
    I have a friend who collects frogs for good luck. I think I would stick with elefantes, they are much nicer!
    Great post Tracy and keep us in the loop about your Suegra´s andanzas! Un abrazote!

  3. Also an Ecuadorian belief!
    My mom only has one, I think she had another little one but it went missing! Guess someone got their stolen one.

    I have none in my apt so I better get working on it!

    So true & funny :)

  4. Smh…Hilarious, as usual! I think Suegra needs to be in a sitcom. I’ve never heard of that superstition before but I do have a pair of pink elephant earrings in my Etsy shop if anyone needs! ;)

  5. I love this! I actually acquired all three on accident! Not even knowing about this. But my husband is Hispanic and his mom told me about the tres elefantes. I found an elephant in target one day without a price tag…so um…I don’t know. Something came over me and I just..well that elephant is at my house now haha. Then my husband gave me an origami elephant. And lastly I bought an elephant statue from a store in the mall. :)

  6. This ritue is true with all my family through the generations. Three elephants facing towards the door and as they said one gifted, one bought, and one stolen. It will bring luck to your home or office depending we’re you placed them.

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