I dug this poem out today – I must have written it when I was around 9 or 10. What a laugh. I’ll admit, along with some subtle editing, I’ve made one significant change today – Elly has changed from a boy to a girl elephant (and without the complicated surgery.) Recently I read an opinion piece about the lack of strong female characters in emerging NZ children’s literature. So today I have created one more, for my daughter’s sake. It’s just a shame what happened to her nose.

How The Elephant Got Its Trunk 

Once, the elephant didn’t have
the long nose she has now.
A short wee stump stood in its place –
all Nature would allow.

One day while Elly was taking a walk,
she heard a mighty scream.
She looked to her left, and said to herself:
“From over there, it would seem!”

So off she went, and found herself
by a dark pit, deep and wide.
And who should she see trapped way down there?
“Daffy Deer!” she cried.

No way out for the little thing?
Poor Elly looked in despair.
What could she do for her little friend?
The elephant trembled in fear.

But then she had a bright idea!
She got down on her knees:
“I’ll try to pull you with my nose –
You’ll have to hang on, please!”

So the deer grabbed on, and Elly HEAVED!
Daffy rose and rose.
The deer was safe, but – Deary Me!
Just look at Elly’s nose!

It was huge! All stretched and long!
Elly’s huge heart sunk.
Sure, she had saved the little deer,
but hadn’t bargained on a trunk!