“Looking back, I’m surprised I fell for this…”

ElephantsSometimes, it’s amazing what you fall for as a child. I believed that for my eleventh birthday that I was getting a baby elephant. Now you may be wondering what I was thinking in believing that. Well, I was only ten years old at the time, and I was, as I still am now, kind of gullible. When I asked my parents what I was getting for my birthday, my mother said I was getting a baby elephant. Now her intent with saying “baby elephant” was benign. She didn’t want to tell me what I was getting, so she said “baby elephant” intending for it to be something so odd that I wouldn’t believe it. Unfortunately for Mom, it didn’t go exactly as she’d hoped. On my birthday, I woke up and saw a new bicycle. While that was cool, I had a more pressing question. Where’s the elephant? It turns out that the bicycle was the elephant, and that the whole “baby elephant” thing was a cover for the bicycle. Drat. I thought I was getting an elephant. I really did think that an elephant was coming. So I did my homework. In the final days of fifth grade (my birthday is in May), I went over to where my teacher kept the encyclopedias, and looked up elephants, proudly telling anyone who asked that my mother said I was getting a baby elephant for my birthday. Looking back, people must have thought that I was nuts. But I figured that if I was getting an elephant, I’d better learn how to take care of it. Turns out that elephants eat a lot of food. Plus I also learned that if an elephant turns its ears out wide, where the broad part of the ear is facing forward, it is REALLY mad, and you’d better get out of its way, or it’ll trample you. I was also concerned about elephant poop and cleaning it up, plus a little concerned about our little dachshund getting stepped on. Despite the concerns, though, I was excited! Then it turned out to be a bicycle. My mother initially felt bad that I fell for it, but I soon learned to love the bicycle, and now it’s a little inside joke between us. Whenever my mother has a surprise, it’s an “elephant”. I then respond, “No, really, what is it?”

Date posted: December 17, 2002