Shy Elephant

Colorful tale 2.

(original text in Russian and Ukrainian)

There was a little Elephant.

The Elephant was very young though he seemed to be very large. He was much smaller than the adult elephants.

The Elephant grew up in the wild forest and played with his peers: tigers, hedgehogs, bears, birds and even frogs. The Elephant tried to be friends with everybody. A lot of forest children played with him willingly. Even the adults believed that a little Elephant was very kind. But he did not consider that he was such.

The Elephant was very modest and even shy. He was too shy to obtrude himself and became embarrassed because of his huge size, burdock-like ears, long trunk and little funny tail with the cluster and thick and clumsy feet.

But the most embarrassing thing for the Elephant was that he blushed when he was shy. Even his ears blushed. And everyone saw this. The Elephant didn’t have fur, he had only skin. So he could blush and other animals couldn’t. Because of this, he was ashamed even more.

The shameless monkeys who couldn’t blush teased the Elephant showed their tongue though they were proud by their similarity with the people. Actually, the monkeys were jealous of the Elephant but didn’t show this. And they teased him angrier.

The Elephant behaved quietly and politely. He always helped the weak. The Elephant helped everybody since he was the largest and strongest in the forest. But he was shy and blushed when they told him “thank you”.

Little animals loved the Elephant.

Once there was a heavy rain and a forest stream flooded the banks and stones through which the animals moved from one bank to another. The stream spread widely. Even the hares could not jump over it. The monkeys moved through the lianas and branches and teased everybody and the land animals sat on the bank of the stream sadly because they couldn’t get to the other side.

Then the Elephant came to the bank.

The Elephant knew what to do but he was ashamed to say. He entered the water silently and stood in the middle of the stream. His back rose above the water like a huge grey-stone boulder.

– Hooray! It’s a bridge! We have a bridge! – a small Mouse cried. It was the first who understood and appreciated what the Elephant had invented.

The Elephant blushed. To tell the truth, he was afraid of mice and he was ashamed. But he gave his trunk so that the Mouse climbed his back as if the ladder and get the other side.

– Wait, you may fall! – the Hare took the Mouse and pulled it through the Elephant’s back to the other bank.

– Hooray! Long live our bridge! Thank the Elephant! – the animals cried and started crossing the bridge.

The Elephant worked as a bridge till the evening. Then the water sank and the usual stone bridge appeared.

The animals wanted to thank the Elephant but couldn’t find him. The Elephant was hiding to avoid their eyes and not to blush when they would praise him and say “thank you!”

They remembered that the Elephant helped them to carry the heavy trees and then helped a small beaver who almost drowned when an underwater snag caught its tail when the beavers built a dam on the Great River the last year.

But when the Mother Beaver baked a big delicious pie and wanted to arrange a holiday they couldn’t find the Elephant anywhere again. He was hiding in the thick forest and was ashamed to join a loud celebration.

The animals were not angry with his strangeness but could not understand the reason. The Elephant dreamed about the fur coat which the ancient mammoths had that could hide his red face, trunk and even ears. He did not understand that there was nothing bad in this. One could be even proud of the ability to blush. The Mother Elephant explained that many animals change their color depending on their mood. Chameleons and cuttle-fish, frogs and lizards were among them. The animals and birds change their fur and feathers in different seasons and that’s fine,

they are even happy about this.

The people even blush and the monkeys envy them. When it is arranged in the world it will be useful somewhere!

The Elephant listened, sighed and blushed with anger.

– Mother, but the rhinos are also without the fur and do not blush, – he complained.

– Why should the rhino blush? – the mother said. – They are also called “thick-skinned”. Nobody can hurt them.

– The rhinos white themselves: they run in the white sand or clay and become white. Consequently, they also want to change their colour, – the Father Elephant said.

– But it’s terrible to blush, – the Elephant sighed.

– It’s okay, sonny, – the mother said gently, – I still love you. The Elephant was delighted.

He tried not to draw attention to himself and help everyone if he could. But the monkeys did not leave him alone and always teased. One day the Elephant climbed up on a high mountain and was sitting there alone hiding from the shameless monkeys.

The Elephant calmed down and didn’t bother about any insults of the monkeys. He looked at his wild forest from the mountain and thought how beautiful it was.

A Large River shone like a blue silk. The tops of the trees waved like a green velvet. And the bright birds flashed in the air like flowers on the bright carpet.

It was very quiet around.

Эллин Крыж

Edited: 02.11.2020

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