Montgomery had two junior officers he used as runners. Before the battle of El Alamein he told them to take a week off in Cairo as they would be very busy in the future. While on a visit to the zoo in Cairo an elephant grabbed one of their hats and ate it. The officers had a quick recall to Monty's HQ. When they paraded in front of Monty he inquired as to where the officers hat was. The young officer said, "Sir, an elephant ate it". To which Monty replied,"Young man, I think you better go and lie down for an hour".