- 1968 - 1982
My friend, artist, and teacher, Margaret Ann [Clark] Fecteau told me this story. It is both funny and tragic, and took place, I think, in the late 1970s. The ROM had at that time a gallery on the archaeological periods of Ontario before European contact. Among the dioramas was one depicting the Palaeo-Indian period that followed the retreat of the glaciers. It featured a life-like body of a woolly mammoth about to be butchered by native hunters. Margaret Ann was sitting and sketching at one end of the gallery when she noticed a very distressed small girl standing in front of the mammoth diorama. She was crying inconsolably. The child’s mother hurried over to see what was wrong when the little girl wailed, “Mommy! They’ve killed Mr. Snuffleupagus!” This was an understandable mistake as Mr. Snuffleupagus was a large, popular Muppet who looked remarkably like a woolly mammoth. Let’s hope that this case of mistaken identity didn’t leave a lasting negative impression of the ROM with that little girl!