Thursday, April 06, 2017

E for Elephants

Late last year, I promised myself that I will put my story writing skills to good use and cook up many a good story for Little Person (LP) when he / she arrives. While I haven't really put my head to it and thought in detail, and neither is LP of an age ripe enough to listen and imbibe the goodness in morally uplifting stories, we did try one story a few days back. I started off with no agenda but for one character (everyone's favourite - the elephant) and ended it with a moral (voila!). It seems a promising beginning to a one-person audience career in children's story-telling. Even though it is nowhere near perfect, here it is (translated from Tamil in which I narrated the story to LP), for I am mighty proud of having come up with it impromptu!

There was once an elephant calf, called Eleph, in the big, wild forest. Unlike other elephants, he was thin and scraggy. In fact, if not for his long trunk, everyone would actually mistake him for a small donkey. Eleph wasn't happy with this state of affairs as he was always the odd one out being teased by all and sundry. 

He decided to ask his neighbour Foxy Fox for advice. Foxy Fox, acting all smart and knowledgeable said, "Hey Eleph! I will tell you the easiest way to become fat. Instead of having the leaves and shoots in the forest, munch on some of the yummy stumps. Have a target of five stumps a day and see the difference in five days!" Eleph, without giving the advice a second thought, started on his mission immediately. By the time he took the second bite off the first stump of an abandoned tree in the forest clearing, his teeth started paining profusely. He howled in pain but pulled himself together to go for a third bite. 

By that time, Kawy Crow came that way, saw what Eleph was doing and started laughing. Eleph, taking a minute off his mission, explained to Kawy why he was sacrificing his teeth. Hearing his sob story, Kawy said, "Eleph! You should be smarter than this. There is no need to change your diet. You continue eating leaves and shoots. But, don't move or exercise once you are done eating. Every time you eat, just lie down right there and sleep deeply for a few hours. The food will have nowhere to go, and you will have a big tummy in a week." Eleph found this idea to be brilliant and implemented it at the first big tree he came across.

As he started snoozing after a hearty meal of leaves worth 10kgs, he heard what sounded like a roar. He opened his eye but a wink and looked around, only to notice Fiery Tiger approaching him from a distance of 100 metres. Scared but not at his wits' end, Eleph got up and rushed out of harm's way. By the time he stopped, he must have easily put 20 kms between his hunter and himself, while losing 5 kgs in the ordeal. 

As he panted and stopped to collect his breath, Brainy Monkey jumped from a tree to land in front of him. Brainy Monkey was concerned as he saw Eleph, tired and weak and most probably crying. After hearing the entire story, Brainy Monkey said, "Eleph. Do you realise what helped you escape Fiery Tiger today? It is this figure and size that you hate so much. If you had been heavy and slow, like the other elephant calves, you would be dead by now. Why do you want to become like others? You be yourself, that's the best gift you can give yourself." 

Eleph, having finally understood what he should do, thanked Brainy Monkey profusely and walked back - this time with his head held high, his trunk swaying from side to side, proudly carrying his lithe and strong figure home.

P. S. This post is the fifth in the A-Z blogging challenge series for April. 

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