Friday, 10 April 2009

Small One - The Magical Elephant

Here is a story for you. Hope you like it. It came about when I was doing the latest dragon for Fast Friday Challenge. The challenge was: Planes & Masses combining saturated and muted colours.

Small One, the Magical Elephant

“Auntie” was an African elephant. She was called Auntie because she hadn’t had any babies of her own, but she loved to help the other mothers with their babies.

One day as the elephant herd moved to the river for water, she heard mewing sounds that sounded like a baby elephant in trouble. When she investigated, she found the smallest, funniest-looking elephant she had ever seen. (Auntie was a bit short-sighted.)

What Auntie actually had found was a newly hatched dragon. Auntie had mistaken the feebly flapping wings as ears, and the not-yet-elegant tail as a trunk. Well, from her point of view, the dragon was quite far down on the ground. Had she been able to see him closely she might have thought differently. But then, maybe she was meant to think about the baby dragon so she could help him and he could help her.

The baby dragon was one of the kind of dragons who start off sort of elephant coloured. As they grew and did good things, their magic began to grow and their skin would gleam. Of course, this newly hatched baby hadn’t started gleaming yet.

Auntie decided that perhaps the baby “elephant” was thirsty, so she scooped him up with her trunk and placed him on a spot behind her neck that was just right for small ones like him. When she lifted him, she thought, “My, he is very warm. I hope he isn’t getting fever. It is a good thing we will be at the river soon.” And she made comforting noises to him. It wasn’t long before he was fast asleep, rocked by the rhythm of her rocking walk. She didn’t mention him to the other elephants, as they were tending their own babies, coaxing them to walk just that bit further when they complained “Are we there yet?”

After a time, the herd arrived at the place where the river ran in a quiet spot. Auntie, lifted the baby dragon down, scooped some water and began to blow it over him gently, like she would do for other baby elephants with fever. The baby dragon woke, flapping his wings and crowing a bit. (It was almost like the trumpeting sound elephants make, so she was still unaware he was a dragon.) He LOVED the water! Soon he was splashing around in the stream she made for him.

So, Auntie gently pushed the baby dragon towards the river pool with her trunk. She had never seen such a small elephant, so she didn’t want him to go too near the deep bit. Before she knew it he put his head right down in the water. “Oh, Small One”, she cried! (Dragons can understand any language, so he understood her.) He popped back up and cried. “Fun, Fun!”, and kept splashing about. So, she stopped worrying and started to get her own drink and have her own wash.

But dragons are very quick and suddenly the baby dragon jumped up and dived into the water. She couldn’t see where he was at all. She began to panic. “Small One! Small One!”

Up popped the baby dragon…with a fish in his mouth! “Mumgry!” He mumbled, with his mouth full. Now, she knew this was NOT a baby elephant, strange or not! But she already loved him. She lifted him up with her trunk and brought him close to her face to have a look as he gulped the fish down. “Awww! Why it’s a Small One alright, a Small One dragon!”

And so Small One travelled with the elephants. Auntie introduced him to her friends, and after having a bit of a laugh with her about mistaking him for a baby elephant, they all fell in love with him, too, and were glad the Auntie at last had a little one to care for.

At first, no one in the herd realised that for some reason, grazing was easier to find, waterholes weren't covered with mucky stuff, journeys didn’t seem so far, and baby elephants didn’t wander off and get lost. (I think it was the magic from Small One, don’t you?)

One day, the baby dragon, who wasn’t quite as small as he had been, was playing with the other baby elephants. Small One was so light compared to them, that they had found it was a great game to toss him back and forth with their trunks. He loved it, flapping his wings and sometimes tricking them by drifting to stand on top their heads. (Auntie, of course, being near-sighted, had not realised they played this game at first. And by the time she discovered it, she knew he would be alright because sometimes when she placed him on her neck, he would flutter down when he was done with his sleep.)

One of the bigger baby elephants decided to make up a game to see how high they could throw the baby dragon. And of course, since he was the strongest, he knew he could win the game. Small One was thrown higher and higher. Suddenly, he opened his wings wide and started to fly. They all looked up astonished! “Look, Small One is flying!” They cried.

Small One flew around and around. Then he noticed something. Just in the next clearing there were some 2 leg creatures around a fire. Auntie had told him this kind of 2 leg creatures were “humans”. She had warned him that some humans were nice, but that if he ever saw humans with sticks they pointed at things, he should hide. These humans had sticks like that. Quickly he folded his wings and dived for cover. He was some distance from the elephants.

Remember I said dragons can understand any language? Well, these “humans” were talking. Small One could understand them. And being a dragon, what they said made him, not afraid, but ANGRY! They were talking about pointing the sticks at the elephants and hurting them! This made him feel all hot inside. In fact, he didn’t know it, but he started to have steam coming out of his nose!!

He crept closer to the fire the humans had. Because he was a dragon, he could walk very quietly and not be heard. The next thing the humans knew there was a strange creature in front of them! And the next thing after that, he was blowing steam towards them! This made their sticks so hot that they dropped them!

They decided to run! Small One blew a big burst of angry steam in their direction. They clutched at their backsides and yelled! And then, RAN very far from there.

Auntie and the others had heard the humans yelling. They soon found out from the baby elephants that Small One had disappeared. So, they headed towards where they heard the shouting sound. When they came into the clearing, they couldn’t believe their eyes.

There, by the fire…IN the fire…was Small One dancing around and around…AND GLOWING!

When they heard what had happened, all the big daddy elephants stomped all over the sticks. And all the mummy elephants came over to touch Small One’s glowing skin…well, after they told him to get out of the fire before he started the forest alight.

And Auntie just beamed and gave Small One a big squeeze with her trunk. All she said was “Well, I guess I will be able to see you better now!” And every one laughed.

And here is a picture of Auntie looking after Small One while he has a little sleep. I just managed to get close enough to peep through the bushes.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE this story Sandy!

Anonymous said...

Charming story, Sandy, and a delightful quilt. Thanks for putting it on your blog and letting us know.

Jacquie in Vermont

Wil Opio Oguta said...

How sweet!

Anonymous said...

Sandy, What a wonderful story! And I do love the art work for your story.

Kat in AZ

Sandi said...

Sandy, I love the story, it involes two of my favorite animals; elephants and dragons Where did you find this folk tale? Your story quilt is lovely.

Helen Suzanne said...

aw Sandy I love it!

Sandy said...

Thanks for all the special messages! The story is from out of my head.

My head works differently than most peoples. :) There are so many ideas in there you never know what will come out.

But there will definitely be dragons more often than not ;)

Thanks for stopping by!