(Approximate reading time: 8 minutes)
A TALE TO REMEMBER…
ELEPHANTS ARE PEOPLE TOO
Long ago there was a time when elephants weren’t elephants but were really people. They walked on all four and had great big tusks, and big floppy ears, and of course the long trunks; but even though they were very big and strange looking for people, we still knew they were people.
But, back then – they had hair like ours and great long beards too. And their skin was not all gray and tough as it is now, but soft, brown and pink! And as smooth as any person’s skin could be! In fact, the most beautiful, smooth skin of all; and all the people knew the elephants were people too, in fact, they were the ancient people, revered as our great grandmothers and grandfathers, the elephant-people.
And though we were so little, and they were so big, and though we didn’t have fine tusks and trunks, and even though our ears and noses were small; still, the elephant-people loved us. And we loved them, and we all knew we were family, we were all people. We were their grandchildren, and they were our grandparents — our grandelephants, wise and knowing of all the ways of the world. And the elephant-people taught all the little people, the ways of the world.
And back then, when the elephants were our grandparents and teaching us all about the world, how wonderful and old it was; every day soft, warm, gentle rains fell from the sky – and made the world so plentiful!
The grasses gently flooded and the elephant-people would carry us on their shoulders and teach us songs. Songs for dawn, and noon and dusk. And sing songs to the rain and the grasses. And sing songs for the trees – and well, songs for everything!
And after every rain, the sky was so pretty with bountiful rainbows; and the elephants had songs for the rainbows too!
And beneath the rainbows, there were always places to swim, and the wise elephants taught us all how to swim! And we all loved to swim together and have fun together; particularly since the elephants made great laughing fountains with their nice long trunks!
And when we were done having fun swimming, we sang more songs and danced; for the elephant-people taught us all how to dance! Wonderful dances that young and old alike could all dance together. And even the many friends of the elephant-people, all the wonderful animals – joined in with our songs and dances!
It was such a very good time!
And even more than the songs, and more than the dances, the elephant-people taught us all about what delicious fruits and nuts and grasses, and vegetables, and roots to eat! And every day was a feast! And well, everything a person could ever want or need to know, the great elephant-people seemed to know. Why, there was nothing they didn’t know!
Why, they even knew stories, fantastic and beautiful stories, stories about all the animals, about the grasses and the trees, stories about the fruits and nuts, and stories about the sun and moon as well. And stories about the rain and even stories about the rainbows! Why, the elephants knew stories about everything – every mountain, every shadow, every flower, every sound, every taste had a legend and a story to tell – and the elephants knew them all by heart. Why, they even knew amazing stories about the shining stars and how even some stars had magic, magic that could be wished upon!
And many, many nights, how wonderful it was to lay with our grandparents and watch the night skies for wishing stars, and listen to the wondrous and happy stories the elephants could tell!
But, one of the saddest stories ever told – was not told back then – but rather just now, a strange and terrible story about the time a wishing star fell! And one of the little people, a grandchild who didn’t yet know all that a grandparent could tell – picked the fallen star up and made a foolish wish – a terrible wish – a wish for all the rain to go away – just to see what the world would be like – without rain!
And the very next day, the rain, the rain did just that!
The rain went away, far, far away.
For days and days – the elephants sang and sang, pleading songs for the rains to return. But, alas, it seemed no song of the elephants could ever bring back the rain. And with the rain gone – so too did all the rainbows disappear! Sadly, the rain stayed so long away, that not only did the rainbows disappear, but soon – so too, began all the water to disappear from the grasses! And soon there was nowhere to swim, and then the world wasn’t lush anymore; and soon all the grasses and fruits wilted away. And in time – in time – even the trees died!
Amidst the dust and the dirt, and the graveyards of the trees, all the grandelephants and all their grandchildren cried and sang sad songs of mourning about the loss of the rain, and rainbows. And the loss of the grasses, and the trees. And though their sad songs cried all through the hot days and even to the stars at night, sadly no song could undo what had gone wrong.
And then, amidst the dry bones of the trees – terrible fires came to be, that burned the day and lit the night so bright, not a single star could be seen, and the elephant’s songs turned to screams…
And when the fires, at last, had eaten almost everything, and then at last consumed themselves – so too it was found that many more things had died, many grandparents and many grandchildren, and many animal friends as well – had all died as well.
And all the fruits and grasses, every last one was gone. And the bones of the trees were nothing but ash; and it was such a terrible time!
And with such a terrible sadness, the few animal friends who survived – decided they could longer stay in such a terrible place, and they went away – hoping they might find the rain…
And soon, the little people – the grandchildren, they too went away, following the animals – in hopes of finding the rain…
But, the grand-elephants they stayed. Even with such ruin, they couldn’t bare to leave their homes, where they had been born, and where their parents and grandparents had been born, and so they stayed. And they were left all alone, hoping that the rain would someday return home – and with it, all the animals, and all the children would come home!
But for a long, long time, no one came home. Not the rain. Not the animals. And not the children.
The grandparents stayed all alone – so long that all their long hair had turned white and fallen out, and their smooth and supple brown and pink skins turned hard and tough, and eventually turned gray – until at last, all the grandparents all looked like withered rocks.
And though life was so hard, they never lost hope, that one day the rain would come home again, and with the rain, all the animals, and all the grandchildren would come home again…
But still, for a long, long time, no one came home. Not the rain. Not the animals. And not the children.
But then, one night after many, many, many years, at last, one night a wishing star shot across the sky – and all the elephants wished for the rain to come home; and on the very next day – at last, the rain came! Oh, it would have been a happy day – but sadly, even though at last the rain returned – the animals, and the grandchildren did not return!
But, with the rains return – soon all around the grasses grew, and trees were born anew – and grew; and fruits, and nuts were born, and flowing streams and pools gathered round – and flowers as brite as rainbows blossomed, and then – every afternoon – beautiful and brite, glowing rainbows were born again!
And then, one day after a particularly fine rain – and all the sky was strewn with brilliant welcoming colors; to the elephant’s great surprise, at last, even the animal friends at last finally returned! And oh, the elephants were so happy to see all the animals coming home! And oh, the animals were so happy to see the elephants!
But sadly, still, the grandchildren did not return! But the elephants never lost hope – and they waited patiently everyday – for their children to come home.
And so it was many, many, many years later, that at last, one day – a great storm brought a fierce rainstorm, and when it was done, wild rainbows crisscrossed the sky, and then, at last, the grandchildren returned!
But, the grandchildren who came, no longer recognized their grandparents, the elephants! And even though the grand-elephants who had never lost hope that one day their grandchildren would come home, and had never forgotten their grandchildren – well, such a long time had passed, even the elephants had a hard time recognizing the grandchildren – but they did know it was them!
But, when they charged the children, blaring songs of rejoice – the grandchildren, had been gone too long and had forgotten so much! They didn’t know the elephants were their grandparents! And the grandchildren were afraid!
They couldn’t understand the words of the grandparents songs anymore, for they had forgotten their grandparents! Forgotten all the stories of their grandparents! Forgotten all the songs and dances! Forgotten all the things the wise knowing grandparents had ever taught them – so very long ago! Indeed, the people had forgotten so much – that they had even forgotten that the elephants were people!
And so in ignorance, the children were horrified and cried, “Beasts! Ugly beasts! Horrible animals! Terrible monsters!” And all the children threw rocks and sticks at their grandparents!
And though the grandparent’s skins were withered and gray as rocks, the things the children hurled at them, hurt them; and the elephants had no choice – but to retreat from their grandchildren.
And now, that time has passed. For it was many, many years ago when the children returned. But, sadly to this day – still so many of the children don’t remember – that they have forgotten the truth – that elephants are people too!
But the elephants – they never forget.
And still, they hope one day, their grandchildren will remember that, elephants are people too! And so, if you read this story – please don’t forget – that elephants are people too!
And remember, we’re all family.
THANK YOU FOR READING!
(photo credit: Elephants by Coffy of Pixabay.com)