The World Around Us

by Adrianna Kuzma

Note: This is not the typical “World Around Us” essay; it’s an allegory that I wrote. –Adrianna

One day Elephant was pregnant with her first baby son. The next day Elephant woke up to find a very small but unique baby elephant standing in front of her.

“Hello small one,” said Elephant, “where are your parents?”

The very small but unique baby Elephant replied with a huge smile, “I am your baby, mama.”

Elephant stepped back in astonishment. She had only just gotten pregnant, but she didn’t have time to consider this as she had to keep moving. It was her job to find food for the herd.

Elephant said “okay, baby, but you must keep up with me as I go get food. I would not want you to get eaten by hungry lions and crocodiles.”

The baby elephant thought about this for a minute and agreed to keep up with his mother. And so the mother and her baby elephant started walking across the desert. The baby elephant did his best to keep up with his mother’s long booming steps. After an hour or so, they came upon a broad river called the Crocodile Sticks.

On the opposite side of the bank, Elephant saw a savanna or grasslands and in the water a few sticks floating aimlessly on the surface. She turned to her baby saying, “When we cross this river you will need to hold tightly onto my tail and swim.”

The baby elephant looked up at her trustfully and said, “I will go anywhere with you, mama.”  When Elephant stepped into the water and extended her tail down to the baby elephant. He gripped onto her tail tightly with his trunk and swam with her. They were about halfway across when a gang of greedy crocodiles surfaced and said “If you want to cross we want tribute for the passage across our river. We are very hungry so we want your baby as payment.” Elephant trumpeted replying “You cannot have my baby.”

“Refuse and we will take your life as well,” said the crocodile, “Stop struggling. After all, he is not a real elephant, he is only going to be a burden to you in the future.”

Elephant felt confused and angry. She did not know who to believe –the crocodile or her baby. Then she felt the baby elephant’s grip slip and a cry for help escaped his lips. She heard the crocodile’s evil laughter as they grabbed the baby elephant. She remembered what she had told her baby and his reply which was so trustful and warm. Elephant whirled around and grabbed her baby from the crocodiles and lifted him over her head out of reach of the crocodiles. She would carry her baby.

The crocodiles swirled around on all sides, hungry mouths gaping open, pressuring Elephant to let go of her baby: “This very small but unique elephant does not exist. He will only get in your way. Let us take him” said the first greedy crocodile. At this Elephant look up and really looked at her baby. The voices of the crocodiles buzzed in her head and the baby blurred out of her vision and seemed to vanish as tears welled up in her eyes. The crocodiles bit and clawed at her trying to force her trunk back down so they could get her child.

In this way, she crossed the river. The very small but unique baby elephant lifted high over her head stayed just out of reach of the avaricious crocodiles. When she reached the other bank, Elephant gently placed her baby down and climbed out. Elephant’s body was covered with claw and bite marks.

The very small but unique baby elephant started to cry “oh mama,” he said, “I am so sorry that you were hurt on my account.”

“That is enough. Dry your eyes baby” said Elephant, “This is nothing compared to losing you.” She touched him gently with her trunk, drying the tears that spilled onto his cheeks with a bit of grass. They both set out onto the next part of their journey together.

About the Author: Adrianna is a homeschooler from Indiana. She loves to sew and has made Regency ball gowns as well as fleece pet beds. She plays the cello, loves cats, and is passionate about caring for the planet. She recently produced a video on bottled water that won a national award.

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