The Elephant’s Child

A favorite Just So Story for many people, “The Elephant’s Child” features a young Pachyderm who is always asking questions. This annoys his elders, who spank him every time.
His particularly persistent desire to discover “what the crocodile has for breakfast”, leads him to the “great grey green greasy Limpopo river, all set about with fever trees”. There he narrowly avoids becoming what the crocodile had for breakfast, but gains a new much longer proboscis. This long nose is so useful he turns the tables on his spank-happy relatives, and once they have their own long noses, everyone lives happily every after.

And the motto, best beloved, of this story is that, far from killing the cat (or even an elephant’s child), curiosity is a survival trait!

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