In honor of One World, Many Stories, I present An Elephant Never Forgets by Kristin Collier Bennett. I’d forgotten this story and think I might do it on Saturday. It was found in Ladybug Magazine September 2000. (We don’t participate in the CLSP, but I’m participating in the theme this week anyway, although I’m still foggy on the concept.)
As he entered the forest, little Elephant chanted over and over, “Bananas and bark, bananas and bar, don’t forget bananas and bark.” He stomped his feet and swung his trunk to the hytm of his chant. “Don’t forget bananas and bark.” Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp.
“Where are you off to?” called a voice from high in the branches of a fig tree. It was his friend Monkey.
“I’m off to get supper for Momma,” answered Elephant. “Want to come along?”
“Sure,” said Monkey, dropping onto Elephant’s bristly back. “What are we looking for?”
“Bananas and bark. you have to help me remember bananas and bark,” said Elephant. “You don’t need help remembering. An elephant never forgets,” said Monkey.
Deep into the cool forest they went, talking about this and that, chasing butterflies, and splashing in puddles. The friends had such a grand time playing that they soonlost track of the hours and the shadows grew long. Elephant had a worrisome little feeling that there was something he should be doing. Something very important. But he couldn’t rememeber what. “It’s getting all dusky out, Monkey. I have to go home, but I think I’m forgetting something.”
“You can’t be,” said Monkey. “An elephant never forgets.”
They made their way back to Monkey’s fig tree. Seeing the ripe figs helped Elephant remember. “I’m supposed to get supper! Now what did Momma want? Loquats and leaves? Grapes and grasses? Figs and ferns? What do I do?” he wailed. “Momma will be so mad. She told me not to forget.”
“You’ll remmber. An elephant never forgets,” called his friend, swinging into the tangle of leaves overhead.
Little Elephant felt so bad that he started to cry great, big elephant ears. “Who ever heard of a forgetful elephant?” he sniffled as he walked home with an empty trunk.
When Little Elephant reached the clearing where he lived, his momma was waiting for him with a very worried mommy look. She hugged him tight and said, “It’s so late. Where have you been?”
“You sent me out to get supper,” said Little Elephant, “and I couldnt’e remmber what to get. Are you awfully mad?”
“Oh dear,” she said. “Did I ask you to get supper?”