Diana’s February Story: The Elephant Child

Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

I actually recorded this if you want to listen along.

The Elephant Child

by D. Wallace Peach

An elephant child, carefree and wild
Walked into the wintry woods
He followed fox tails and jackrabbit trails
Ignoring his mother’s “shoulds”

Of course, he got lost and chilled by the frost
As night began to fall
To his rump he sunk and tooted his trunk
But no one answered his call

Oh, that cold night, to the elephant fright
The clouds began to snow
He sniffled and shivered, shook and quivered
His nose he needed to blow

The blizzard swirled and snowflakes twirled
He plodded on wobbly knees
His head grew stuffy, the snow so fluffy
He blew out a honking sneeze

Losing hope, he started to mope
When in an evergreen tree
He spied a house, just right for a mouse
And he let go a trumpet of glee

Alas the place hadn’t the space
To fit an elephant’s bulk
The lost little guy plunked down for a cry
His head hung low in a sulk

The house was quite nice, chock full of mice
Who whispered quiet and low
What was that? Did you hear a cat?
Lurking out in the snow?

Across the wood floor, they dashed to the door
Flicked on the outside light
In a rodent flurry, they squeaked and scurried
An elephant! What a sight!

Let’s offer a seat for a tea and a treat
Said a mouse who felt overly bold
I think he is lost so covered in frost
And surely his ears are cold.

Full of care and courage to spare
They crawled out on a limb
They slipped on the ice those brave little mice
And their mission turned quite grim

But they held on tight with all their might
And called to the elephant
Come in from the storm, come in and get warm
But the elephant said I can’t!

Though I’m only four, I’ll bust the door
I’ll break the branch from the tree
I’ll crack your stairs and squash your chairs
I’m far too heavy, you see.

You have to try, hurry in and dry
Get up! Please give it a go!
The elephant groaned, he mumbled and moaned
Though he longed to get out of the snow.

With strength galore, he pushed on the door
The tree branch started to bend
The home nearly fell, and the mice had to yell
Please stop, or we’re end-over-end!

The elephant frowned as the flakes tumbled down
His trunk a bright shade of blue
Oh, what a glitch, mice-whiskers did twitch.
What were the rodents to do?

Now, due to their size, mice aren’t very wise
Their brains are as tiny as seeds
They may not be smart, but they have lots of heart
And sometimes that’s all that you need.

They sketched out a plan as only mice can
And piled his back with sweaters
And blankets and sheets, and curtains with pleats
Tiny coats of wool and black leather

With the elephant warm, and safe from all harm
They dialed their old-fashioned phone
We’re seeking his mother, a father or brother!
This elephant’s all alone!

Well what do you know, because of the snow
His parents were suffering fits
They dashed to him fast and hugged him at last
And stayed for some tea and biscuits.

Thus ends the plight of the elephant’s night
Be careful when out in the woods
You might meet some mice who are caring and nice
But just in case…
Remember your mother’s shoulds.

Bridge #writephoto

beneath-the-bridge

I wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers, which is why I never told my mum about the man below the bridge. She wouldn’t have tolerated him with his frayed coat and dirty fingers. His eyes had a little shine in them, even in the shadows, as if he’d left a light on inside his head.

After my chores, I’d ask mum for jam sandwiches, biscuits, and a sliced apple for a tea party with my friend under the bridge. She thought the old fellow was a fairy child, flitting in my imagination like a moth, and she liked me out from under her feet.

My doll, Miss Penny, and I would tote our basket down the hill and tiptoe across the stepping-stones. My friend waited in our castle’s cool darkness while I propped Miss Penny up against the wall and brewed pretend tea. We’d share our feast and sip from invisible cups as proper as the queen. Miss Penny always smiled, enjoying the party as much as we. Then he’d tell us stories of his travels to India and Africa, of riding elephants, and diving for pearls, and climbing mountains in the snow. One day, Miss Penny decided to stay in the castle under the bridge to keep my friend company.

Then, my mum packed us up, and we moved to America.

That was forty years ago.

My husband is golfing with colleagues, and I have a precious morning to wander through the old haunts of my tender years. I rent a car for a drive into the country. The old home is still there, smaller and empty. The roof sags and ivy consumes the sunny walls. But it isn’t the home I’ve come to visit. I tote my basket, my jam sandwich, biscuits, and apple down the hillside and tiptoe across the stones through the stream.

I know my friend isn’t there, but the eight-year-old child inside me hopes anyway. I hear his stories whisper from the castle beneath the bridge, in the brook and trees, in summer’s heated air, and I find his bones, Miss Penny still smiling in his arms.

**

Thanks once again to Sue Vincent for her wonderful Thursday photo prompt. Visit her at The Daily Echo and join the fun.

A Clueless Blogger gets a Clue

image from kelseyempfield.wordpress.com

image from kelseyempfield.wordpress.com

About 6 months ago, I was admittedly clueless about blogging and about social media in general. How clueless? Here’s that old post Confessions of a Clueless Blogger in which I fess up.

I won’t characterize myself as clueful now, though I’ve become much clueier. I’ve passed my 100th post, gathered over 300 followers, and will hit 10,000 views in the near future. I know this is probably a drop in the bucket for many bloggers, but for this writer it’s a freaking marvel!

Just to give you a peek at my past…(don’t laugh)…here are some old stats:

In 2012, my first FULL YEAR of blogging, I posted 11 times, had a total of 7 visitors, 1 like, 1 follower, and 0 comments.

Yep, a real success story! The stats for 2013 and 2014 improved, but at a pace only a slug’s mother could love.

The hilarious part is that I didn’t know this was bad. Even if I’d discovered there was a stats page, I wouldn’t have understood the significance. Ignorance is bliss, right? You don’t know what you don’t know, and I was truly clueless.

WordPress was new-fangled technology. After my daughter set it up, I was afraid to touch it. All the buttons looked dangerous. Any change threatened to blow the thing up and destroy my pitiful, pain-staking progress.

I didn’t know I was supposed to add images to posts, reply to comments, read other blogs, follow other blogs. I didn’t know social media etiquette and didn’t know anyone who did. I was a writer, a myopic hermit, Smeagol in his cave obsessing over his golden laptop. Honestly, I was that clueless.

mastercoachescom

image by mastercoaches.com

Then in late December 2014, the light bulb in my brain flicked on. The confused electrical synapses in my skull connected. It seems this is how I do life – skip happily along, whack my head on a branch, and then notice the trees. I patted my bruised head, forgave my failings and sucked in a brave breath, ready to tackle the learning curve.

Six months later, I’m still learning, still intimidated by technology, still afraid to click a few of the buttons, still writing and blogging, searching for time and balance. Still clueless now and then.

But, there’s one thing I’m not confused about…I’ve met wonderful people in this spirited journey. Talented, generous, fun people all around the world; souls full of wisdom and heart: writers, bloggers, artists, photographers, doodlers, teachers, poets, young, old, parents, travelers, wanderers, seekers, some who’ve led me to laughter, others to shared tears.

About the joy that comes from connecting with you, I’m not clueless at all. Thank you, my friends, for sharing yourselves and this blogging adventure with me. ❤

image by clipartpanda.com

image by clipartpanda.com