The Elephant Boy©

From the land of India, there is a story handed down about an elephant called Big Kim. A boy named Kazoo owned him. They lived near a village where most of the people were farmers and were very poor. In those days, rich landlords owned the land.

Kazoo’s father was a sick man and could not work much. So Kazoo and Big Kim had to earn a living for the family. Of course, Big Kim was no regular elephant. He was the biggest and smartest elephant anyone in the village had ever seen. He was ten feet high and weighed eleven thousand pounds, which is more than a school bus. So the farmers were happy to have Big Kim and Kazoo help them with many jobs, like moving trees and carrying heavy loads to market. Big Kim loved to eat bananas, so Kazoo always rewarded the elephant when they got home from work each evening.

Every summer the monsoon winds blew in rains that helped the crops grow. But one year, no rains came. Everything the farmers had planted in the ground dried up. To make things worse, the soldiers of the wicked landlords would soon be coming at harvest time to collect payment from the people for using the land. This year there would be nothing to offer them. And if this happened, the soldiers would be angry and destroy the village.

Kazoo wondered how he and Big Kim could keep the landlords’ soldiers away. He soon had an idea. If he could make Big Kim look like a monster, the soldiers might be frightened away.

He went to the leaders of the village and told them his idea. They all agreed that it might work. So everyone helped Kazoo build the parts of a giant dragon to place on Big Kim. Some helped build a giant dragon head. Others helped build a large dragon tail with jagged teeth on top.

When the parts were finished, they fitted the big dragonhead over the end of Big Kim’s trunk, and Kazoo taught him to hold the head high in the air. He then tied the jagged-tooth tail on Big Kim’s back. He painted the elephant and the make-believe parts the same colors.

You have never seen such a fierce-looking monster. Big Kim looked and moved like a powerful, awesome dragon. He even seemed to be having fun playing the part.

They then waited for the soldiers to arrive. When they heard that the soldiers were coming, Kazoo took Big Kim to the entrance of the village and stood him in the middle of the road. He lighted some smoke powder inside the dragonhead. Fiery smoke came bellowing out. What a frightening thing to see!

Kazoo then hid in a nearby tree. When the soldiers came galloping up, their horses reared up in fright. The soldiers, seeing such a sight, thought some wild monster had taken over the village. They quickly turned and rode away as fast as they could without looking back. They never returned to the village again.

A simple idea from the mind of a poor boy overcame a small army. The villagers were so happy they planted a whole field of banana trees and gave them to Kazoo and Big Kim, who remained heroes of the village forever after.

Your mind is your compass and guide:
Fill it with knowledge and pride.
Elephant Elephant