June 20, 2018

Elephant tea party

By Morgan Ackerly, Grade 7

By Morgan Ackerly

Grade 7

I shifted in my small wooden seat as I gazed up at what stood before me. Across from me sat a bulging, wrinkled, gray elephant. Her feet were the size of dinner plates, and her yellowed tusks almost reached across the tiny lace covered table. She looked down at me through glassy brown eyes, rimmed with long dark eyelashes. I had never seen an elephant before, at least, not that I could remember. I didn’t know what to feel, was I excited, or afraid?

“What’s it like having a trunk? Can you hear more with those big ears? Are lions afraid of you? How hot is it where you live? Do you like cupcakes? I’ve never met an elephant before!” The words tumbled out of my mouth like berries from a basket. She moved forward to get a better look at my face.

“Well,” she said, “It is definitely much colder here than it is in Africa, and yes, I do say cupcakes are better than what I usually eat.” Her trunk curled around her teacup as she brought it to her lips. It’s glass clinked against it’s matching China plate as she set it back down. I leaned forward onto the table to get more level with her face.

“What’s it like being an elephant, and what about the lions?” She gazed at me quizzically.

“First off, you can calm down, this isn’t my first time meeting a human, there really shouldn’t be such need for excitement.” The table creaked threateningly, I found myself using it to support most of my weight, and my teacup was wobbling dangerously over the edge of the table. I quickly sat back in my seat and pushed the teacup back into place.

“I can’t truthfully tell you what it is like being an elephant if I don’t know what it’s like being a human.” She said as she pointed at me with her trunk.

“And the lions, well, I wouldn’t say they’re afraid of me, but they certainly keep their distance.” I racked my brain for anything explaining what it was like being a human.

“Umm, so, I’m sure you’ve seen the houses and cars that we use right? So you’re probably wondering, like, how we act I guess?” I asked, not sure if I found the right words.

“I suppose so, I know that you live in houses, what food you eat, and that you drive cars, so yes, that is exactly what I would like to know.” I fumbled with the doily that sat under my empty glass plate, which surprisingly, I had not yet filled with the jelly centered cookies that sat at the center of the table.

“We, umm, well, adults usually have a job where they go to work, so they can have houses and cars, but, some people don’t. Kids, like me, we go to school so we can learn about, well, how to read, write, do math, and about the world and science. Many people have friends, they usually hang out together, like they talk over lunch, do fun things, or have tea, like we’re doing.” I could hear the clink of the tiny spoon against the teacup and she stirred it.

“I see,” she said. “Well, being an elephant, we don’t have work or school, we really just wander around the Savanna, but I do have friends and family in my herd.”

I was surprised, I didn’t think that elephants had friends, but I knew she had to be telling the truth, for why would she lie?

“So, I suppose we’re not so different after all?” I asked. She smiled.

“Yes, I suppose so.” I looked up at her warm dark eyes as she handed me a cookie.

“I never did catch your name by the way, mine’s Ellie.” I said as I chewed on my cookie.

“Nice to meet you Ellie, I’m Petunia.” She stuck out her trunk for me to shake it.

“Petunia, I think we’ll be good friends,” I said smiling.

“Yes,” she said. “I think we will.”

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