A MUDDY LESSON (Short Story - for children)

                                                                                                       Phora the elephant walked slowly down the road . R-U-M-B-L-E R-U-M-B-L-E , he went. " Helloooo Mr.Carpenter! How are you ?""Fine fine Phorie. Good to see you. Where are you going? "" I'm off to Mr.Tailor's . He will have a banana for me. He always does." Phora replied with a smile on her round, grey face.Mr. Tailor was a thin, tall man. He wore black pants and a green coat on all days. He collected clothes from every house in the town, and stiched little frocks and knickers and shirts and suits for children.He collected little pieces of the leftover material, and was stitching them all together to make a great , multi coloured coat for Phora. He loved Phora. He always kept a banana for her in his shop. One day, Mr.Tailor was ill. He had a fever, so he sent his nephew Tom to sit in the shop.

Phora R-U-M-B-L-E- R-U-M-B-L-E-D into the tailor's street."Hallo Mr.Tailor! Here I am. " "Mr. Tailor is at home, you silly elephant. It's me, Tom. "" Why Tom! It is you. Shouldn't you be in school? " Phora raised her eyebrows."Ha-Ha-Ha! I hate school! "   " I told my teacher that I had the cold.""You lied?? " "Yes! "Tom pulled a nasty face. I said 'A-Choo, A-Choo...', and she said "Poor Tom! Go home , dear boy, and drink some warm soup."  Ba-Wa-Ha-Ha-Ha' , cackled Tom. "It is so easy to fool the silly teacher.""Why Tom!" Phora was stunned. " That was very wrong of you. You should never tell lies. You should not cut school. And you really shouldn't call your teacher silly!" She reprimanded. "You are a very bad boy, Tom." she said bristling with anger.Tom got angry. How dare this silly elephant scold him. " I was clever, I got out of boring  lessons at school. Pooh, she's jealous. I'll show her." He thought." Phora, my dear, don't be angry. Here. My uncle left a banana on the table for you. Take it. It is very sweet."Poor Phora belived Tom, and bend forward with her long trunk circling down to reach the bananana in Tom's had.But Naughty Tom had a big needle hidden in the fist of his hand. As phora bent down, he shoved the sharp needle into her trunk!" Aaaaaah!" cried Phora in Pain. The sharp needle had ripped the soft skin of her nose."Oh my nose! The pain, the pain. " she ran away from the tailor's shop.

She went home, plunged her trunk into a pond of cool water, and sat there sniffling."Why did that Tom hurt me ? Why did he stab me with a needle. He's a bad, bad boy. He lies and cheats and hurts everyone. He needs to be taught a lesson." She thought sorrowfully.Phora woke up the next morning with a plan in her head. A big plan to teach bad Tom a good lesson.Phora went back to the tailor's shop. Mr. Tailor had still not returned and Tom was sitting at the shop, eating a banana and throwing stones at the puppies playing on the road.

" Tom deaaarr." She called. "Can I have another banana? The one you gave me yesterday had a prickly thorn in it.""He-He-He. The stupid elephant thinks my needle was a thorn. I'll play another trick on her today."Tom picked up a banana , peeled the skin back a little and poured salt all over the fruit. Then he carefully, pulled the skin up, so that it looked like a fresh, new banana.Vile, terrible Tom held out this ick-y, salt-y banana out to Phora. He wanted to laugh and laugh when poor Phora took a bite of the salty banana and cried out.Phora had seen him with the salt bottle, and she understood that Tom meant to be naughty again. She would have to put her plan into action.

Like yesterday, she slowly bent forward, circling her trunk down to Tom, but instead of reaching for the banana, she bent lower and wrapped her trunk around Tom's waist.Phora picked him up, raised him into the air above her head. Tom was terrified. She slowly lowered him, and plomped him in the middle of the street. Then, she unfurled her trunk and pointing the end of her nose at him, blew a big load of dirty, mud at him ! 

She had filled her trunk with mud from the pond last evening and had made this plan in her head.Tom was drenched in brown, sticky mud with worms and dead leaves in it. "Now boy, if I ever hear you telling lies or cutting school or pulling pranks or hurting poor, helpless animals, I shall take you to the pond, and push you into the mud where the green crocodiles will bite you."Tom hung his head and said " Sorry, Phora. I will be a good boy. I won't trouble anybody."And he didn't. 

Those crocodiles waited and waited for Tom to do something bad. But, he did not, and they never had the chance to bite him.And whenever even a small naughty thought crosses his mind, Tom looks out and sees Phora R-U-M-B-L-I-N-G in her new, shiny multi-coloured coat through the streets, and all the naughtiness would hide its face and run away, leaving Tom to be a good boy.


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