Sandy the elephant and Zoot the dog were, without doubt, the best of pals in the whole wide world. They loved to sit by the river and watch time floating past their little seat.
Sandy was being particularly thoughtful that morning.
“What’s bothering you, buddy?” Asked Zoot the dog.
“Nothing much pal, nothing much. Just sitting here wondering, that’s all. It ain’t a crime, now is it?” Answered Sandy. “I was just considering if I could choose anything to be in the world, what it would be,” said the elephant.
“And what would you want to be?” Asked Zoot.
“I reckon I would like to have been the elephant in the room. Everyone would know you were there but no one would talk to you or about you. Seems a nice way to live.”
“I reckon, you’re right,” said the dog.
“Anything you thought about?” Asked Sandy.
Zoot considered this for a moment then said, “I would like to have been the dog with a bone that everyone seems to get excited about. You know when they say things like, ‘oh yes, Edward is like a dog with a bone’. Well, I should like to have been that dog.”
And for a few moments the two of them contemplated what their alternative lives could be like.
“I guess we’re just being plain stupid,” said Sandy.
“I guess we are,” agreed Zoot “But that’s the great thing about thinking, you can be or do anything you want. Dogs can be elephants, and elephants can be dogs and that’s pretty cool.”
“I think that is one of the greatest things about being an elephant – is the great many things I can think about,” said Sandy.
“And your great memory as well,” added Zoot and both chuckled at the irony of Sandy forgetting about his great memory.
“I guess when you’re made like an elephant and think like an elephant and are happy to be an elephant, then there ain’t anything greater in the world,” said Sandy proudly.
“Unless you weren’t an elephant but you wanted to be one,” added Zoot. “I still want to fly.”
“Dogs and elephants don’t fly,” said Sandy.
“Well not unless they stick them in an aeroplane,” said Zoot smugly.
“No, I mean I would really like to fly along with those birds out there,” said Sandy.
“To see what an elephant looks like from all that way up there,” he said smiling.
“Dogs ain’t meant to fly just like elephants ain’t meant to bark,” said Sandy.
“Unless the elephant has got a cold, and then they can really make a barking noise,” said Zoot.
“What if tied you to a kite and flew you up there?” Asked Sandy.
“And don’t let go?”
“And I promise not to let go,” replied Sandy.
“Then I think that might work,” said Zoot.
And so the pals promised that on the next windy day, Sandy would tie Zoot to the biggest kite he could find, and fly him around the beach.
And that is what they did – Zoot flew high above Sandy while attached to the kite, and said that an elephant just looked like an elephant even from up there. All the folks who watched said that Zoot had taken to flying like a dog with a bone. That made him happy.
No one mentioned the elephant on the beach who was holding the rope and refusing to let go, and that made Sandy happy too. He guessed that an elephant on the beach was probably just as good as an elephant in a room.
bobby stevenson 2017