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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

The two elephants splashed about in the water. "I can spray higher than you can," Abu boasted. He filled his trunk with the water from the Nile River and sprayed it up into the air. It shot high into the sky, and fell back down, landing with lots of little plops in the river.

"I can do better than that," Sian said competitively. "Watch this," she bragged. She filled her trunk up with river water, tipped her head back, and blew with all of her might. The water sprayed up into the sky, much higher than Abu's had gone. Little plops of water splattered all around the two elephants. "Ha, ha, ha!" she laughed.

The hot, summer sun beat down on the two elephants, and on the sand spreading down to the Nile's banks. Abu, feeling a bit angry, stomped out of the water onto the sand. It felt very hot on his tough hide. He sat with his chin resting on one of his legs. "Hmmpphh!" he said, watching Sian blowing water higher and higher. To snub her he turned and looked behind him. Large red granite rocks were scattered about on the peachy colored sand. An occasional acacia tree grew here and there, but not much else could be seen.

Tiring of the scenery, he turned back around to see what Sian was doing. She'd stopped showing off and was nowhere to be seen. The river was dotted with huge boulders, much like those that lay in the sand near the river's edge. Abu knew that Sian was hiding from him, pretending to be one of the boulders. He plodded back down into the river and swam over to where the boulders were. "Aha, I know that's you," he said, taking his trunk and hitting the boulder.  "Ouch!" he cried, when he realized he was hitting stone. "That's not Sian. It's a rock!" He stuck his head under the water and swam around the boulder. "Hmmmm," he said. Abu looked up the river. There were more boulders, and he knew one of them was Sian. So he swam slowly up to the next one. He swam around it a couple of times. It was the same color as Sian, and it was as big as Sian. "It must be this one," he said. He lifted his trunk and brought it down hard, slapping the rock. "Ouch!" he cried out again. "That's not her either," he whined. His trunk was a little bit sore. He was also beginning to get frustrated.

 He knew she was in the river somewhere. On he went, from boulder to boulder, swimming around each one, knowing it was surely Sian this time, but after hitting each with his trunk and discovering each one was indeed, just a boulder, he'd had enough. His trunk was so sore he could hardly carry it.He decided to go back to the shore, and climb up to the top of one of the cliffs. This way he could look down and see where Sian was. He stood at the top gazing down at the beautiful blue waters of the Nile. He saw all the boulders in the river,  that he'd thought were Sian. His eyes wandered up and down the riverbank. Then he spotted a huge boulder. "Maybe I'll go down and climb on that. It's closer to the river and I'll be able to get a better view," Abu said to himself. He came down from the cliff and went over to it. He was about to climb up, when it suddenly moved. Just then, a huge spray of water hit Abu right in the face. It knocked him backwards into the sand.

"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha," giggled Sian, as she sprayed his trunk, his huge ears, his tusks, his eyes, and his tough leathery hide. "I got you!" she snickered.

Abu stood up. "Sian! Stop it!" he called out. "All right. All right. Enough!" But Abu couldn't be angry with his friend. It was so hot out there in the desert sun, and the water felt so good as it sprayed all over his body. Instead, he ran down to the river, filled his trunk up, and sprayed Sian back. The two elephants enjoyed each other's company for the rest of the day, playing together, and keeping each other cool.

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