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.
"It’s 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. It’s not safe
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 Mona’s ears went up. She’d heard
something. "It’s a den of lions," she whispered to Badeef and the others.
Badeef was afraid. He’d never seen a
lion before but had heard the other elephants talking about them. "Mama,
I’m 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 didn’t 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.
"We’re 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. "We’ll 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.