Clara is my African elephant spirit. Elephants personify holistic family-structure, and they are the Repository of History.
Elephants share much in common with Humans, including age and family structure. Their biological time-line almost perfectly mirrors that of Humans, including adolescence, and in unfortunate cases, senility in old age. Elephants also have "aunts and uncles" who help supervise the rearing of all young elephants.
Elephants also have a sense of humor, as many Humans know, and they have memories — they remember kindnesses, and they remember harshness. Further, elephants have opinions.
Elephants were one of the few critters that survived the translation of Pre-History to Modern History, and they were able to adapt, but remain inherently true to their natures. Yet, within their bones they carry the knowledge of Man, and serve on land as dolphins serve in the water. Elephants are here to remind Humans who they are.
Elephants, like dolphins, incorporate "play" into their lifestyles. An elephant in training doesn't mind slapping a trainer with his trunk to remind him to "lighten up". Humor is very important to elephants, and they would be infinitely bored without it.
Elephants are also curious. The love to see how the other half lives. Young elephants, in particular, are very nosy until their elders teach them manners. Elephants love nothing more than to stick their trunks in other people's business. Elephants tend to think the world is their oyster, and privacy the province of those with something to hide - which makes them all the more curious.
Like dolphins, elephants agree to allow themselves to be held in captivity, so that they may interact with Humans, and to share Lessons. Elephants are incredibly tolerant of Humans, and enjoy them as a spectacle. Elephants don't always know what to expect from Humans. Elephants aren't "moody" in quite the way Humans are, so elephants get a wonderful chance to observe the range of Human emotions, and to anticipate Human reaction to circumstance.
Since elephants have a very tough hide, it is hard to inflict real pain on them, but it is not physical cruelty that disturbs them as much as the emotion behind the actions. Elephants like to please, and generally do not mind doing "Stupid Pet Tricks" as long as it gets smiles or laughs from Humans. One concession that elephants make to Humans is to "trumpet" - to roar with their trunks. In the elephant kingdom, this is actually considered bad manners (except in warfare). However, elephants recognize that Humans enjoy animal noises - especially loud ones - even though they (elephants) don't truly understand what the noises represent.
Elephants hold the energy of sentience, associated with awareness and memory. It is memory that allows two consecutive thoughts to hold a shared astral experience, and is still not fully realized within the third-dimension, as the mental plane is still being developed. Elephants, like Humans, can experience senility, and this is an out-picturing of the undeveloped mental plane, and is also good at serving as a "searchlight" for those on the Other Side whose job it is specifically to help establish and maintain the building blocks of the mental plane.
Those elephants who succumb to senility in the third-dimension are returned to the elephant devic form, so that they may return in a later cycle and try to work out the "kinks" that were experienced in previous incarnations.
This, then, is one of the greater Services of Elephants - to help develop the Mental Plane.