Eric was not like the other children. His head was really big and his legs extremely short. His back was a bit crooked.
He was a little boy with the sunlight in his eyes. His loving parents worried that life would be hard for their son, since he looked so different.
Eric didn’t feel different than the other kids, but already some of his classmates had started calling him elephant boy when the teacher wasn’t around. He didn’t understand why, but decided to find out.
He asked his parents to take him to the zoo so he could visit the elephants. Once there, Eric was mesmerized by the giants. He could only just peek into the elephant garden, as usual he was too short to see things properly.
Eric spotted a baby amongst the adult elephants. It looked sad. Wasn’t playing. Hung with its head and trunk and looked around nervously. Eric was wondering why the little one looked sad and the minute he thought it, the baby elephant came stumbling over.
– Hi little elephant. Are you ok? You look like you’re sad.
The little one looked at Eric with the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen.
– I can’t remember things. You know, elephants are supposed to be able to remember EVERYTHING. But I can’t even remember the way down to the swimming hole. I’m worried I will never become a real elephant.
– But you look like a real elephant.
– Well, it’s a problem on the inside. And you are not a real elephant if you can’t remember stuff.
– Are you sure?
– Pretty much. It’s the way it has always been.
– Well you look like a beautiful elephant to me. You’re kind and you can talk to me so that seems really special to me.
– Thank you.
A tear fell from the little one’s eye.
– I think it’s easier for you, you are a prefect little human boy, so I think it might be hard for you to understand.
Eric took in what his new friend had just said. Something important shifted in his heart.
– You know…I don’t know much, but I know this…I think we should meet every week and just hang out and talk, like now. I think there might be something magic about hanging out together. And it would be so much fun.
– You don’t care about me not remembering stuff?
– Do you care about me being short?
Little elephant looked surprised.
– You humans are all short.
Eric reached through the bars to pat little elephant on his soft trunk.
– I just know we will be good friends.
And for all the thirty-seven years that Eric lived, they were. They were the best of friends and they taught their families a lot about elephants and boys.