[Short Story] The Elephant

wildlife photography of elephant during golden hour

Photo by Harvey Sapir on Pexels.com

It was Friday afternoon and Mrs Watkins was tired. It was a hot day and her feet hurt. I like teaching children, she thought. But maybe I am too old for this. I don’t have so much energy.

The children in Mrs Watkin’s class were six years old. There were thirty children in the class. Mostly they were very good students. But that Friday, Mrs Watkins had problems. On Fridays the children had an art class.

There was no green paint in the store cupboard. Mrs Watkins did not know why. Maybe another teacher borrowed it. All the children asked for green paint. They wanted to paint pictures of trees and frogs and crocodiles.

Melanie spilt paint over Andrew’s painting. Andrew shouted and Melanie cried.

Micky painted his friend Pete’s face red. The two boys thought it was very funny. Mrs Watkins did not think it was funny because it took her a long time to clean Pete’s face.

After a while, Mrs Watkins decided to end the art class. “We are stopping now,” she said. “We will clean the classroom and then we will have quiet reading time.”

The children sat down with their reading books. Peace at last, thought Mrs Watkins.

Then Sandra started crying and shouting. “I feel sick! I have a pain.”

“I’ll take you to the school nurse,” said Mrs Watkins. “Everyone be quiet and read while I am gone.”

Mrs Watkins took Sandra to the school nurse and hurried back to her classroom. She could hear the children shouting. She was very angry. She opened the door. All the children were standing at the windows laughing and shouting.

“Sit down!” she said loudly. “Sit down now. I told you to read quietly.”

“But Mrs Watkins! Mrs Watkins!” The children were very excited.

“No! I am not going to listen to you. Sit down now!”

The children went back to their seats. Then Micky raised his hand. “What do you want Micky?” asked Mrs Watkins.

“There’s an elephant in the playground.”

“Don’t be so silly” said Mrs Watkins. “There is not an elephant in the playground.”

“Yes there is! There is!” shouted the children.

“Stop this now!” Mrs Watkins went across to the windows. I’ll close the curtains, she thought. That will calm the children down.

She stopped and stared. There was a very large elephant eating leaves from a tree in the playground.

Am I going mad? she thought. No, I’m not. The children can see it too.

Mrs Watkins felt bad. “Children. Come to the windows,” she said. “We can look at the elephant.”

As the children and Mrs Watkins watched the elephant, a large truck came into the playground. It was painted red and yellow. On the side of the truck, was written ‘Marvelo’s Circus.’

Men jumped out of the truck and ran towards the elephant. Very soon the elephant was walking towards the truck.

Mrs Watkins turned to the children. “Well that was exciting, wasn’t it? Now go back to your seats, please.”

She stopped. “Where is Micky?”

She found Micky in the store cupboard. “What are you doing?” she asked.

“I am looking for grey paint. Next art class we will all want to paint a picture of the elephant.”