Once upon a time there was a very large animal who had a tail at both ends, one in the front and one at the back. Isn’t that funny ! How do we know which is the front and which is the back when the front is called a trunk ! Shouldn’t it be at the back ? Anyway, let’s go on. So this very large creature also had very large ears which were as big as fans and when they flapped, it did keep him cool.

One day the elephant decided to walk to the river and drink some water as it was a very hot day and it was feeling very thirsty. As this creature with the very large body, two flapping ears and two tails was walking to the river he met a very big bird who was sitting on the ground. It was funny looking bird with a big beak, large eyes and a big bunch of feathers just like a cushion.

The bird looked at the big creature walking by and started laughing. It said, “Hello ! What are you ? Are you a mountain or are you a building ? Oh ! But what are those two things hanging, one in the front and one at the back. How do you know which way you are coming or going ? And what are those two big flapping fans on either side of your head ? Can they make you fly ? But that’s not possible because your body is too big even for those fans. You must be an alien ! Ha ha ha !”

The elephant looked at the funny bird sitting on the ground and said with dignity, “I’m an elephant.I’m very strong but very gentle or I would have wound my “thing” which is actually a trunk around your neck and sent you flying into the air which is actually what you should be doing since you look like a bird. Why are you sitting on the ground, pray?


The bird said, “I’m an emu and I’m sitting on my eggs. They will hatch in eight weeks. Till then I’ll sit here, losing weight as I cannot leave them as other animals can get to them.”

The elephant said, “you must be a strange bird because you are sitting on the ground and not in a nest like other birds. You cannot fly like other birds and, if I’m not mistaken, you are a papa emu and not the mama and you are hatching eggs!”

The emu felt very embarrassed hearing what the elephant had to say about him and said, “Maybe, I should not have made fun of you without thinking.”

The elephant laughed good-naturedly and said, “ It’s all right. We can still be friends. I’m going to the river to drink water and I know you can’t leave your eggs so I’ll bring back some some water in this “thing” or trunk. So the elephant did just that. He brought a lot of water in his trunk and sprayed some on the emu too cool him down and some in a hole in the ground for him to drink.

The elephant then went on his way lumbering on his pillar like legs. The emu looked at him from behind and blinked his eyes and thought to himself, “But how does the elephant know which way to go? He has a tail on two ends ! Maybe, he just follows his instinct.”

Moral : People who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others .

Shipra Shukla

Published by Collected Tails of Jungle Land

Collected Tails of Jungle Land Alphabet Stories OH MY DOG series

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