The Elephant’s Child is a Story About Child Abuse, Straight Up

[Time for this month’s Patreon-selected myth!
Want a say next month?
Fucking pay me, then.]

Right so there’s this elephant
you wouldn’t recognize him though
because at this point in history
all elephants have nubbly little pig noses
it is disgusting.
Also this elephant can talk
so that’s pretty huge.

This elephant uses his miraculous power of speech
to ask his family
(which, disturbingly, is composed mostly of non-elephants)
questions about natural history
and how, oh my bae, do they respond to these questions?
they respond by beating him savagely.
This story is a master class in pro parenting strategy.

But this little elephant is less afraid of beatings
than he is of not knowing absolutely everything about animals
so he keeps asking questions
and getting his ass whupped
until one day he comes up with a brand new question:
“What does a crocodile have for dinner?”
this question so disturbs the members of the elephant’s family
that they beat him savagely.

The problem with relying on savage beatings as a sole method of instruction
is that it provides no mechanism
for distinguishing which questions REALLY shouldn’t be asked
and that is why, oh my bae
when the little elephant fails to receive an answer to this latest question
he makes a crucial mistake:
he asks a bird what to do.

The bird he asks is called a Kolokolo bird
and it has no qualms about sending a baby elephant to go talk to a crocodile
so that’s what it does
it says “Go to the banks of the nastly, sludgy Limpopo river
and I’m sure someone will be DELIGHTED to talk to your ignorant ass.”
so the little elephant packs an incredible amount of food:
a hundred pounds of bananas
a hundred pounds of sugar cane
and seventeen melons
I guess so that he can throw food at a crocodile and see what it eats.
But the first creature he runs into is not a crocodile
it is a Bi-Colored-Python-Rock-Snake
in other words, oh my bae
it is yet another animal that a baby elephant should not fuck with

But the baby elephant doesn’t know this
because the only way anyone has ever tried to convey knowledge to him
is with savage beatings
so he goes up to the snake and he says “hello friend
could you please tell me what a crocodile has for dinner?”
and the snake
being a sly and inscrutable teacher
responds by beating him savagely.

But though he is battered and bruised
the elephant’s wilful optimism/ignorance remains intact
he limps through the swamp until he finds the Limpopo river
where a crocodile lurks in the water.
So the baby elephant is like “Hello friend
are you a crocodile?”
and the crocodile says “Yup hi”
and the elephant says “I was just wondering what you eat for dinner?”
and the crocodile is like “why though?”
and the elephant is like “huh
nobody ever turned that around on me like that.
I guess I’m just curious
and I don’t have thumbs so I can’t look it up on my phone
help me out?”
and the crocodile says “Suuuuure buddy
just come over here and let me whisper in your ear
tell you somethin’ that you might like to hear”

So the elephant goes over to the crocodile
who predictably grabs him by the snout with his teeth
and the elephant is like “I don’t like the look of this at all!”
and the crocodile is like “wait til you see my dick
naw I’m just kidding
unless you say I can
and I’m known to be a real nasty man”
and the elephant is like “How do you keep rapping with my nose in your mouth?
Also are you trying to eat me or have sex with me?
I’m confused”
but just then the bi-colored-python-rock-snake shows up
like “MY WORD, YOUNG PACHYDERM, DO YOU NEVER CEASE WITH YOUR INTERROGATIVES?
THIS LEATHER-CLAD RIVER RUFFIAN SEEMS HELL-BENT ON YOUR CONSUMPTION!”
(bi-colored-python-rock-snakes always talk like this
they read a lot and they don’t get out much
so when they get a chance to talk they just go ham)
then he wraps one end of his snake body around the elephant’s tail
and the other end he wraps around a tree
and he tugs that dumb elephant out of the water
until the crocodile lets go
and swims away to record his new hit single “Dangerous” featuring Wyclef Jean

It’s not clear why the python suddenly decided to help the elephant
but what is clear is that the elephant did not get away clean
the crocodile’s tusks performed some serious plastic surgery on his nose
turning it into a horrific prehensile trunk
flopping everywhere
a grey parody of a wrinkly dong, oh my bae.

The elephant is like “what the hell happened to my face”
and the python is like “dude, it just got better is what happened
you can use it to swat flies
or pick up food
or … and this is critical
you can use it to deliver SAVAGE BEATINGS.”

The elephant is suddenly filled with a sadistic glee
he charges back towards his home
the words he bellows are barely intelligible, oh my bae
but a keen ear might pick out the syllables:
“FINALLY. FINALLY.”
He runs TRAIN on his entire family
he unleashes a lifetime of pent up torment on their hides
he is a cyclone of devastation
with a pendulous face-wang at its center.
The only animal left unscathed is the Kolokolo bird
whose ambivalent advice granted the elephant this terrible power.
His family is devastated by the sudden, unrelenting outburst.
Their only recourse is to enter into a biological arms race.
they flee to the Limpopo river
to get their faces fucked up by crocodiles.
all of them die
except for the elephants.
The family bloodline is finally pure
and no one spanks anyone ever again.

The moral of the story, oh my bae
is that when it comes to domestic abuse
plastic surgery is the only solution.

Jesus, that got dark.

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3 thoughts on “The Elephant’s Child is a Story About Child Abuse, Straight Up

  1. I suspect this is a revenge fantasy on Kipling’s part. He was horribly abused by an aunt when he and his sister were sent to live with her in England. The “broad aunt, the hippopotamus” seems to be the most abusive of all the Elephant’s Child’s abusive relations, though I don’t know the size of the actual Appalling Aunt. See Kipling’s harrowing story, “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, and be prepared to stare into the dark of your room when you try to sleep later.

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