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…When he wanted fruit to eat he pulled fruit down from a tree, instead of waiting for it to fall as he used to do. When he wanted grass he plucked grass up from the ground, instead of going on his knees as he used to do. When the flies bit him, he broke off the branch of a tree and used it as a fly-whisk; and he made himself a new, cool, slushy-squshy mud-cap whenever the sun was hot…


This is from “The Elephant’s Child” in the Just So Stories.

The Elephant’s Child has had his little nose – ‘no bigger than a boot’ – pulled out into a trunk by the Crocodile ‘on the banks of the great grey-green greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees’.

It has been very painful, but on his way home he finds his new trunk is very useful.