THE ELEPHANT'S CHILD (Part 1)

A long time ago the Elephant had no trunk. He had only a blackish nose, as big as a boot. He could move it from side to side, but he could not pick up things with it. But there was one Elephanta new Elephantan Elephant's Childwho was full of curiosity, and that means he asked very many questions. And he lived in Africa, and he filled all Africa with his curiosity.

He asked his tall aunt, the Ostrich, why her tail-feathers grew just so, and his tall aunt, the Ostrich, spanked him with her hard, hard claw. He asked his tall uncle, the Giraffe, why his skin was so spotty, and his tall uncle, the Giraffe, spanked him with his hard, hard hoof. And still he was full of curiosity! He asked his broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, why her eyes were red, and his broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, spanked him with her broad, broad hoof; and he asked his hairy uncle, the Baboon, why melons tasted just so, and his hairy uncle, the Baboon, spanked him with his hairy, hairy paw. And still he was full of curiosity! He asked questions about everything that he saw, or heard, or felt, or smelt, or touched, and all his uncles and his aunts spanked him. And still he was full of curiosity!

One fine morning the Elephant's Child asked a new question that he had never asked before. He asked, "What does the Crocodile have for dinner?" Then everybody said, "Hush" in a loud voice, and they spanked him immediately, without stopping for a long time.

By and by, when that was finished, he saw Kolokolo Bird sitting in the middle of a thorn-bush, and he said, "My father has spanked me, and my mother has spanked me; all my aunts and uncles have spanked me for my curiosity; and still I want to know what the Crocodile has for dinner!"

Then Kolokolo Bird said, "Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River and find out."

That very next morning, the Elephant's Child took a hundred pounds of bananas, and a hundred pounds of sugar-cane, and seventeen melons, and said to all his dear family, "Good-bye. I am going to the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River to find out what the Crocodile has for dinner." And they all spanked him once more, though he asked them most politely to stop.

Then he went away, eating melons, and throwing the rind about. He went from one town to another, from one country to another, and he went east, and he went north, eating melons all the time, till at last he came to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River.

Now you must know and understand that till that very week and day, and hour, and minute, this Elephant's Child had never seen a Crocodile, and did not know what he was like.

The first thing that he found on the bank was a Black and White Rock-Snake curled round a rock.

"Excuse me," said the Elephant's Child most politely, "but have you seen such a thing as a Crocodile here?"

"Have I seen a Crocodile?" said the Black and White Rock-Snake. "What will you ask me next?"

"Excuse me," said the Elephant's Child, "but could you tell me what he has for dinner?"

Then the Black and White Rock-Snake came down from the rock, and spanked the Elephant's Child with his hard, hard tail.

"How strange," said the Elephant's Child to himself, "my father and my mother, and my uncle and my aunt, and my other aunt, the Hippopotamus, and my other uncle, the Baboon, have all spanked me for my curiosityand I suppose this is the same thing."

So he said good-bye most politely to the Black and White Rock-Snake, and helped him to coil up round the rock again, and went on, eating melons and throwing the rind about, till he stepped on something. He thought that it was a log of wood on the bank of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River.

But it was really the Crocodile, and the Crocodile winked one eye.

"Excuse me," said the Elephant's Child most politely, "but have you seen a Crocodile here?"

Then the Crocodile winked the other eye, and lifted half his tail out of the mud, and the Elephant's Child stepped back most politely, because he did not want to be spanked again.

"Come here, Little One," said the Crocodile. "Why do you ask such things?"

"Excuse me," said the Elephant's Child most politely, "but my father has spanked me, and my mother has spanked me, and my tall aunt, the Ostrich, and my tall uncle, the Giraffe, who can kick very hard, and my broad aunt, the Hippopotamus, and my hairy uncle, the Baboon, and the Black and White Rock-Snake, with his hard tail,everybody has spanked me for my curiosity; and so, if it's all the same to you, I don't want to be spanked again."

"Come here, Little One," said the Crocodile, "because I am the Crocodile," and he wept crocodile tears to show that it was quite true.

The Elephant's Child was very glad to hear it, and he went on his knees on the bank and said, "You are the person that I have been looking for. Please tell me what you have for dinner!"

"Come here, Little One," said the Crocodile, "and I'll whisper."

Then the Elephant's Child put his head close to the Crocodile's mouth, and the Crocodile caught him by his little nose, which till that very week, day, hour, and minute, had been no bigger than a boot.

"I think," said the Crocodileand he said it between his teeth,"I think today I will begin with an Elephant's Child!"

The Elephant's Child did not like it, and he said through his nose, "Let go! You are hurting me!"

Then the Black and White Rock-Snake came down from the rock very quickly and said, "My young friend, if you do not pull now as hard as you can, it is my opinion that the Crocodile will pull you into the river before you can say a word."



A. Answer the questions.

  1. Where did the elephant's child live?
  2. Why did his aunts and uncles spank him?
  3. What did he ask questions about?
  4. After what question did everybody say "Hush"?
  5. What advice did the Kolokolo bird give the elephant's child?
  6. What did he do on the way?
  7. Was his journey long?
  8. Had he ever seen a crocodile before?
  9. What was the first thing he found on the bank of the Limpopo River?
  10. How did the rock-snake behave?
  11. What did the elephant's child think and why?
  12. Who did he meet after that?
  13. What did the crocodile look like?
  14. Did the elephant's child understand that it was a crocodile?
  15. What did he tell the crocodile about?
  16. What happened to the elephant's child?

B. Make five correct sentences.

The
His
broad
tall
hairy
black
aunt
uncle
and white
the ostrich
the giraffe
the hippopotamus
the baboon
rock-snake
spanked

 

the elephant's child with his
her
broad
hairy
hard
hard
hard
hoof.
paw.
tail.
claws.
hoof.

 

. Fill in the words:

curiosity, thorn-bush, trunk, tail feathers, bank, tears, rind, log, middle, spotty, flat, find out, whisper, winked, coiled, spanked

  1. Once upon a time the elephant had no .
  2. His blackish nose was .
  3. He filled Africa with his .
  4. He asked the ostrich about her .
  5. He asked the giraffe why his skin was .
  6. His aunts and uncles. him for his curiosity.
  7. He saw the Kolokolo bird who was sitting in the of a .
  8. The bird advised him to go to the banks of the Limpopo River and .
  9. He went away, eating melons, and throwing the about.
  10. When he came to the of the river, he saw the rock-snake round the rock.
  11. He stepped on something that looked like a of wood.
  12. The crocodile his eye and wept the crocodile .
  13. The crocodile asked him to come nearer so that he could the answer to the question.

D. Learn the words of exercise for the dictation.

E. Learn the dialogue and role-play the first part of the story.

F. Retell the first part of the story.