Friday, November 26, 2010

Bonus Story: The Christmas Elephant

So, I wrote a quick little flash fiction piece for my kid. I like it, so I'm posting it here. I hope you enjoy. :)

The Story of the Christmas Elephant
(Or, Santaphant is Coming to Town)

By Christopher M. Blanchard

Tembo moved slowly through the savannah, enjoying the hot sun on his back and the clear sky for the view. He flapped his ears, one small and one large, in pleasure. It was another wonderful day for an elephant. He traveled around the region he called his home, and visited several villages. He liked these villages because the people there were very friendly and left him food to eat. Some of them even came up to feed him by hand, and a few of the particularly brave boys would climb on his trunk and hang upside down as he swung it back and forth.

Today, everything was decorated all in greens and reds, and everyone was wearing their church clothing. The priests were smiling and in one village one of them even came up and blessed Tembo. He liked that. After getting his last bit of water from a lake near that last village, Tembo walked back to his favorite tree and settled down for a long nights sleep.

He was in the middle of a particularly good dream about some of those round, red fruits the priests called apples, when a loud crashing noise woke him. Tembo snapped his eyes open and looked around. Nothing seemed to be out of sorts at first, but in the distance he saw something that looked like a red and gold box, with a team of animals he had never seen before tied to it. They looked something like gazelles, but with really impressive racks of antlers on their heads. Looking over the box was a man.

He wore a red suit trimmed with white fur, something that looked very hot to Tembo, even in the cool evening air. He also had a long white beard that covered most of his face, but when he looked up at the bull elephant, he smiled, and the warm appearance made Tembo feel good.

“Tembo, isn’t it?” the man said, and Tembo nodded. “Good. My name is Santa, and I need your help. You see, my sleigh has broken from my rather disastrous landing. See this sack?”

Tembo looked and saw that the box held a large red and green bag, tied at the top with a gold cord. He looked back and nodded.

“That contains presents for many of the children who live in the villages around here,” Santa said. “But now I can’t delver them on time and still fix my sleigh. Would you be willing to help me?”

Tembo nodded. The villages were good to him, and the idea of helping by providing gifts to the children… well, it made Tembo’s heart warm. Santa smiled and quickly packed a selection of boxes and packages onto Tembo’s back. He was careful to let Tembo know where each group of packages was to be delivered, and instructed him to set them under the large tree that would be in each village. Before sending him off, he put a red hat that looked just like Santa’s on Tembo’s small ear. The elephant nodded and trudged off.

It took him a long time to deliver all the packages, and by the time he got to the last village, he was tired. He put the packages on the ground under the tree and then fell asleep. He thought he heard at one point some bells jingling and the laughter of the man called Santa, wishing him a Merry Christmas. Tembo sleepily wondered briefly what that meant.

When he woke, it was to the hoops and hollers of the children in the village, who were swarming to the tree. Even the adults were smiling, watching the whole scene.

“Look!” one little girl said, pointing to Tembo. “Tembo helped Santa delver the gifts!”

He looked to where she was pointing and saw that he still had a present tied to his back. He reached over to it and pulled if off with his trunk. Then, he handed it to the little girl, who took it and smiled at him. Then, she grabbed his trunk and gave a great big hug.

“Merry Christmas, Tembo!” she said.

It send warm shivers all through Tembo, who smiled in return. If this is what Christmas was, he wanted to experience it all the time.

The End

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