An Elephant’s Life

Elephants are all mixed up;

They do things wrong way ‘round;

Their trunks are not for storing things,

But grabbing things they’ve found.

Their mothers must get mad at them,

They bathe to get all dirty;

To cool, they throw dust on their backs,

So hardly can stay purty.

Their food is eaten upside down,

Like pointing north for south;

They hold it in their nose just so,

Then lift it to their mouth.

When something tries to block their path,

They merely have to bump it;

But nearly always they will play

A warning on their trumpet.

They wag their ears to let you know

They’ve got a thing to say;

And even if you don’t agree,

They’re sure to get their way.

Their balanced meal is not like yours,

With icky things you hide;

They have to hold it level so

It won’t tilt to one side.

Your mother’d never let you do

An elephant’s worst habit,

Like stuffing things inside its nose

Then use its mouth to grab it.

When riding on an elephant

You rock from side to side,

As if you were a little boat,

Bobbing on the tide.

Just watch a line of pachyderms

Go walking to the river;

You’ll find them swaying side to side

With much more than a quiver.

Beware the plodding elephant,

As on its way it goes;

You dare not step in front of it

Unless you want flat toes.

They come already built with toys

As everybody knows;

To splash their friends is never hard:

They use their built-in hose.

Their babies don’t get cuddled much;

They soon must go to town;

They walk as soon as they are born,

Though sometimes look like clowns.

Their teeth stick way, way out in front

And nearly hide their faces;

But still I’m sure you’ve never seen

An elephant wear braces.

Their legs are bigger than most trees,

Their feet look just like stumps;

And just before you see their tails

Come mighty pairs of rumps.

Their skin is oh, so very tough,

In fact, they call it hide,

Because that’s really what it does

To what they have inside.

If you could see their skin up close

And touch it with your hand,

You’d find it very papery:

The kind that’s made with sand.

Like all they have, the tails they wear

Are elephantine size;

They swat them to the left and right

To keep away the flies.

Among the land-based animals

They beat them with their height;

To find one in the wilderness

Would surely give you fright.

This tale about the pachyderms

Has lasted long enough;

And so it’s time to end our talk

Of elephantine stuff.

Published by Norman Reid

I worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 27 years in the field of rural community and economic development. I retired a few years ago and have been devoting my time to photography and writing. I've been a semi-pro photographer for more than 25 years and sell my work on the Web. I live in rural Virginia not far from the Shenandoah Valley.

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