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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Elephant Train

Badeef was a small, gray elephant with big floppy ears and a long trunk. He was too little to have tusks yet, but one day he would have long ones like his fathers. Badeef and his mother stood at the watering hole. It was surrounded by the long grasses of the savannah. There were a lot of other animals around the hole. It was deep and filled with croaking frogs. The hippos lay in the center, clustered together and protective of their area. Badeef was warned not to disturb the hippos. Crocodiles, hyenas, and all types of birds were there to drink the cool, refreshing water.

Badeef lowered his trunk and sipped until he was full. His mama, Mona, started nudging him with her trunk. "Its time to go," she said. As usual, Badeef ran beside her as they made their way through the tall grass. "That watering hole is getting too crowded. We need to find another. There are too many hyenas. Its not safe any longer."

Badeef had to walk fast on his short legs to keep up with his mama and the other female elephants. After several hours they stopped at a baobab tree. Mona reached up with her long trunk and ripped the tender leaves and soft branches off. She handed some to Badeef and then ate the rest. Suddenly Monas ears went up. Shed heard something. "Its a den of lions," she whispered to Badeef and the others.

Badeef was afraid. Hed never seen a lion before but had heard the other elephants talking about them. "Mama, Im scared," he cried, moving closer to her large body.

"We must leave," she said. The others agreed. They got into a long line, each holding onto the tail of the elephant in front of them. They looked like a long train, stretching for yards as they walked through the tall grass. They walked, and walked, and walked. Sometimes Badeef felt tired and didnt want to walk any further, but the female elephant behind him nudged him with her trunk and he moved on.

As the sun was set, the herd came to a large watering hole. There were only a few buzzards hanging around. "Were here," his mama said. Badeef was glad. He ran over to the water, stuck his trunk in and sipped water until no more would fit into his tummy. "Well be safe here," Mona assured the little elephant.

That night, Badeef lay down in the swaying grasses and fell asleep. He knew his mama was watching for lions and he knew he was safe at last.

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