The Elephant Tree

Early one hot summer morning I was walking through the woods.  I came across a small babbling brook and decided to soak my weary feet in the cool water. I sat beneath a sprawling Oak tree next to the inviting water. I removed my shoes and socks uncovering my tired pink toes and began to dip them in the inviting water.

"Ahem" I heard someone say.

I looked but I could not see anyone.

"Ahem" the voice said again. "That certainly is not perfume I smell. In fact I smell a smell that is awfully stale."

I looked again but still there was no one to see.
"I'm sorry," I said. "I thought I was alone. Where are you?"

"Up here," the voice said. "Above you."

I looked up to see who was above me.

I coughed and sputtered, snorted and gagged because I could not believe who I could see in the tree above me.

Not a word did I say so the voice in the tree above me said, "What is wrong? Have you never seen an elephant in a tree?"

"Of course not," I replied. "Elephants do not belong in trees and are never seen in trees. Certainly you cannot climb a tree.  How did you get in the tree?"

"I put myself here."

"How," I said. "I cannot believe that you could put yourself in a tree.  But, if you did, why would an elephant want to be in a tree?"

"I did put myself in this tree and I did so to hide from the little boy that lives over that way," the elephant replied indignantly pointing through the trees with his trunk.

Then I heard a tiny young voice echoing through the woods, "Oh, Mr. Elephant, where are you?"

"Shush," the elephant said.

I put my shoes and socks back on my stinky feet and left the two friends to finish their game of hide and seek.

I walked back toward the place I call home until I came across another part of the little brook and decided that I still needed to soak my weary feet. I sat on a rock and looked into the tree above me just to make sure there wasn't another elephant in a tree.

I removed my shoes and socks and placed my weary tired feet into the cool water and sat and thought about the elephant in the tree.

No, I thought, you didn't see an elephant in a tree and I convinced myself that it was not true. I could not have seen an elephant in a tree. I was just tired. I must have fallen asleep and was dreaming.

As I relaxed and my feet began to feel better I heard the little boy's voice again,
"Oh, mister elephant, where are you?"

Oh, no, I thought. Maybe I wasn't dreaming.

I listened to his searching voice hoping he would go into another direction. But his voice got closer and stronger.

"Oh mister Elephant, where are you?"

Then he was upon me and he gasped in his surprise to see me dangling my bare feet in the running water.

He paused for a moment and then decided it was okay to speak to me. I am sure he thought I could be of no harm to him with my bare feet dangling in the water.

"Have you seen an elephant?"

"As a matter of fact I have."

"Could you tell me where he is?" 

"I am not sure if I should."

"Why not?" He demanded. "It is important that I find him"

"I sort of promised mister elephant that I would keep his secret."

He came closer and said in a soft low voice, "If you tell me where he is, I won't tell him that you told me."

"That wouldn't be honest."

Well, maybe not, but I have to find him and I have looked everywhere."

"I am very sure you haven't looked everywhere. Have you looked under the rocks, or in the bottom of the brook or even in the trees?"

"That's stupid, I know you're teasing me because an elephant is too big to hide under a rock and an elephant is too big to hide in a brook and an elephant cannot climb a tree."

"Maybe and maybe not.  He could be a magic elephant. Maybe he used his big ears and flew up into a tree."

He paused for a few seconds and then he took his shoes and socks off and dangled his feet in the water about 10 feet from where I was dangling me feet in the water.

"My mother told me never to get to close to strangers.  Do you suppose this is far enough away? I am not to close, am I?"

"No," I smiled. "I am pretty sure you're safe where you are."

He was thoughtful for a few moments and the said, "I never considered an elephant flying with his ears. Do you really think they can do that?"

"It's possible. Elephants are not supposed to talk either, but mister elephant talked to me."

His eyes got wider, "Really, what did he say?"

"He doesn't like my stinky feet."

"Is that why you're washing them?"

"No, they were sore, but they feel better now."

"If you will tell me where he is I will give you half of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

"Do you have any potato chips"?

"No, but I have two Oreo Cookies. I will give you one of those."

I decided that was a fair offer so we struck the bargain for the cookie and then we went back down the path to find mister elephant in the tree.

"Is he really in a tree?  How did he get in a tree?"

"It's true.  He told me he put himself in the tree."

"Oh," was all the boy could say.

The boy and I walked side by side looking for the tree with mister elephant.

When we arrived at the elephant tree, mister elephant said, "Oh it's you mister stinky feet. I guess now I will have to call you mister squealer with the stinky feet."

"I guess that's true. I did show the boy where you were, but he was very worried about you."

"He sold you out for a cookie."

"Figures, he's probably some kind of politician."

"Hey elephant," a strange voice said. "What are you doing in a tree?"

"Oh, hello donkey, I'm hiding from the boy."

"It looks like he found you."

"No he didn't.  The man with the stinky feet sold me out for an Oreo cookie."

"He must be a politician."

"I am not a politician. I was just concerned for the boy."

"You're it mister elephant," the boy said. "It's my turn to hide. You count to one hundred while I hide."

"I can't."

"You can't count to one hundred mister elephant,"  the boy and the donkey said in unison.

"Don't be ridiculous, I can count to one hundred," mister elephant said with disdain. "But, I cannot get myself out of the tree."

"Why not?" I asked. "You put yourself in the tree so you should be able to get yourself out of the tree."

"That is not necessarily true.  Just because I was able to put myself in a tree doesn't mean that I can put myself out of the tree. It happens to cats all the time."

"This is not good," the donkey said.

"Let's call the fire department," the boy said.

"No," both the donkey and mister elephant yelled in unison.

"Why not?" the boy asked.

The donkey said, "Because of the press."

"What's the press?" the boy said.

"The press is the newspapers and the TV reporters," I answered.

"Are they bad?"

"No, they are not bad," mister elephant said. "But, they will tell the world about me in this tree and donkey on the ground and then someone will say donkey put me in the tree because I represent the Republicans and he represents the democrats."

"And then someone else will say it's not fair for mister elephant to be higher up than me," donkey said. "Then someone will put me in a tree."

"Then," mister elephant said, "They will put me higher up the tree until the branches won't hold me anymore and they will break and I will fall out of the tree. Then someone will blame donkey because he represents the Democrats. I would rather stay in the tree."

"What are we going to do?" the boy said.

"I'm hungry," mister elephant said. "And I'm thirsty."

"You can have my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Oreo cookie," the boy said.

"I ate my Oreo cookie," I added. "But, I'll get you a hat full of water."

"Great," mister elephant said. "A baseball hat full of water, an Oreo cookie and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are not what I would call a gourmet meal for an elephant!
All of that should last me about thirty seconds."

"Look at me folks I am an elephant. E-L-E-P-H-A-N-T…elephant. I usually get about a ton of hay per day."

"I wouldn't be so uppity if I were you," I said. "You put yourself in the tree. You only have yourself to blame. You do not want us to call someone that could help so you'll have to eat what we can give you until we figure out how to get you out of the tree."

Another voice entered below the tree. It was the boy's mother and she was very, very upset. "Young man, you were supposed to be home one hour ago. I was worried and upset."

The boy in his own defense testified that he was helping his friend, mister elephant. The mother was leery, very leery. "I do not see an elephant. I see a mangy old donkey, and a man with a wet baseball cap."

Mister elephant said from the tree above her, "Ma'am, do you suppose you could fix me a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?"

The mother looked up and saw mister elephant in the tree above her and fainted.

"Oh great," the donkey said. "Now we have an elephant in a tree and a dead woman under the tree.  We better hope the fire department doesn't show up now. We will all be arrested for murder."

"Is my mother dead?" the boy gasped.

"No," I replied. "She just passed out. Sprinkle some water on her face and she should be okay."

The boy was very gentle. He did not sprinkle water on her. He took his shirt off and got it wet from the brook and slowly wiped her brow until she woke up.

She sat up and looked back into the tree. "Oh my God," She said. "There is an elephant in the tree. For lands sakes how did an elephant get in the tree?"

"I put myself here," said mister elephant. "How many times do I have to say it?  Do you have any more of those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I am really, really hungry. But, I don't want any more of those Oreo cookies. I seem to be allergic to chocolate."

Then he sneezed and the whole tree shook.

Of course the donkey couldn't resist. "Now I suppose we will have to call the doctor? If the doctor comes then he will call the paramedics and they will call the fire department and they will call the police and the police will call the reporters and the next thing you know, we will have fifty news vans parked everywhere. Man, talk about an ecological disaster."

Mister elephant was becoming agitated. "Be quiet donkey. Why don't you take the boy's mom to make me some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I think about three hundred should do it."

"That's the solution," donkey said. "We'll just feed him until his fat rear end breaks all the branches and he falls out of the tree."

"That's just fine by me," mister elephant snorted. "Just get me food, any food. But, I really want some of those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."

The boy's mom took the boy and they went to find some food for mister elephant.
Mister elephant said, "Please hurry, my stomach's killing me."

I sat down by the babbling brook and said, "I've got a head ache and my feet are still killing me."

Mister elephant said, "Don't take your shoes and socks off. I don't want to smell your stinky feet again.  Go somewhere else and practice one of your political speeches."

"I am not a politician," I yelled up at him. "I am a retired undertaker."

"Great," Donkey said. "Take your shoes and socks off and let your stinky feet kill him. When he falls out of the tree, you can bury him and we can all go home."

"Funny, funny, funny," mister elephant groaned. "I don't have to smell his feet; your jokes are killing me.

Just then one of the boy's friends came to the tree and started laughing.
"It's really true," he giggled. "There is an elephant in a tree, and an ugly donkey."

"Are you really a politician?" He asked me.

"I am not ugly," donkey said.

"I am not a politician," I groaned.

"Yes you are," mister elephant and donkey said in unison. "You sold out for one lousy Oreo cookie."

The boy's friend couldn't wait to tell everyone about the elephant in the tree, the ugly donkey and the politician. The neighbors had never had a politician in their neighborhood and certainly not an elephant in a tree so they all had to come to see the politician, the ugly donkey and of course the elephant in a tree.

And the word was out. The boy's friend told his mom. His mom called her brother who was a local newspaper reporter. The reporter came with a photographer and the evening paper had a picture of a frightened hungry elephant setting in a tree.


Naturally the story was picked up by the twelve oclock TV news and by mid-afternoon there were news vans from every major news source in the world.

Nobody bothered to feed the poor hungry elephant. Everyone wanted an interview. Every person in the neighborhood was being interviewed on one channel or another all across America and the rest of the world.

Animal cruelty was being reported. Political tricks were being reported.
The donkey was accused of kicking his political rival into the tree.

The undertaker/squealer/politician was asked what office he  held. He was asked to run for Governor and finally one group wanted him to run for president.

Everyone knew the "real" story and every "real" story was different than the other "real" stories and they were all wrong. However that didn't bother the news media because each and every one of them had a "scoop".

The Republicans accused the Democrats of demeaning their national symbol. The Democrats put an ad on TV disavowing the "ugly donkey" as their symbol. Their donkey was somewhere in main stumping for an election in that state.

The Republicans adopted the "elephant in a tree" as their new campaign slogan to show the entire world the cruelty of the democrats.

The Democrats accused the Republicans of campaign lies.

The elephant was still hungry and decided no one was going to bring him any peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so he decided to do what he should have done before the whole mess began.

He put himself out of the tree simply by jumping. He did what all tree jumper outers do.  He put his feet over both eyes and jumped. He landed with a  great thud but all the news people were so busy gathering news that they did not see or hear mister elephant when he landed.

Mister elephant walked away without a word to anyone.

I could hear him mumbling to himself, "I wondered if she made my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches yet.

The donkey walked behind him mumbling something about being called ugly.

I took my shoes and socks off and soaked my feet in the cool babbling brook.

And the News see them every night reporting on the political baloney (or would that be E.B. as in Elephant Baloney) 


aroma of a man

a smell,
not an odor
but an aroma

drifted across

it was the
of a man

not of him
who he was

an aroma
what he did

it followed him
crowned his soul

it was strange to some
heaven to me

I loved that aroma
than just an aroma

it was the
of a man

it was the
of burning metal

it was the
of my dad.


wind traveler

the wind
behind me
the sea below

a rock to hold me
from what?
I thought

the wind?
so cold to my flesh
yet so warm in my mind

the sea?
so wet to my skin
yet so warm in my heart

maybe my rock
holds my mind
in some deep crevasse

waiting to be
across the sea

can my flesh
follow my mind
to the sea?

the wind
can make me a sail

and transport
my flesh... my soul

to somewhere
my heart
would rather be



I spent a week writing the story.  I waited three days and read the story I had written and to be honest it was really garbage.

I edited and rewrote the story and took took four more days.  I waited another day and read the story aloud and it was still garbage.

I tried one more time to make something worth reading.  That took another three days.  I read it again and it didn't smell a whole lot better.

I repeated my effort three more times because a real writer told me that editing and rewriting at least six times is the minimum to create a good story..  I read it aloud three times and unfortunately I still had a lot of garbage.

I decided to write the story one final time and correct it for spelling and punctuation and then I read it again and wouldn't you just know it.  It was still garbage

I loved it.


potatoes, jellybeans and google

just some thoughts on potatoes and jellybeans without out the use of google.

have no idea why.

they are just there and I need to regurgitate them.

....the thoughts and maybe google ...but not the potatoes and jellybeans.

really, there is a reason why i'm thinking along the lines of potatoes and jellybeans. .

these thoughts were instigated by news stories.

sometime not to long ago, someplace in the USA, someone or somebody or some government bureaucracy banned potatoes from someplace claiming that we americans were getting to fat and potatoes were the cause (i think).

so a man that grows or sells potatoes protested by eating nothing but potatoes for 3 months or some period of time. he ate potatoes for every meal. he ate nothing but potatoes.

he lost weight. not bad.

i like potatoes...maybe it would work for me.

but, I have a better idea.


pres. obama is going to sign a law that bans jellybeans in school lunches. the law will allow skittles but not jellybeans. i am not even going to try and figure that one out but it may be because pres reagan loved jellybeans. however, i do not want to accuse obama of being political when it comes to school lunches so maybe it is because he does not like jellybeans.

I have decided that I need to go on a jelly bean diet to protest the banning of jellybeans.

lets see, now I weigh 235. check me out in three months



do we or don't we?...

we don't...critique...

bloggers do not critique...we fawn... it's awesome ... it's wonderful...

bloggers do not write bad... (it seems)

we are all great writers and the world is on pins and needles wondering which great combination of words will flow elegantly from our fingers...

and we know that is a lot of BS...

we write...we post...we pray for readers and glorious responses...

and normally (actually always) we get some responses (but only from those we have responded to or those that are looking for responses) and our words are exalted as if they came from the fingers of Hemingway or Joyce...

and we know that is a lot of BS...

are we helping ourselves...each learn and grow?...

is it possible that we could critique each other with a little more honesty?

No one wants to hurt someones feelings but do we grow if we believe no growth is necessary?...

As the British would say... Cor Blimey (God Blind me) and he least as far as blogging is concerned...

I know most of us are not capable of critiquing what others or ourselves write as as far as proper grammar is concerned but we all know that when we read something if it is confusing but we say nothing... (this sentence confuses me)

No, we praise other bloggers.  I guess we want to encourage them to write...

But, the real reason is that we want them to read our words and praise what we have written.

I took an Internet class on writing and got the same BS from the instructor. 

"You are  a great writer.  submit...submit...submit and by the way take my next class...

Every avenue I have researched or followed is more interested in selling than in helping...

I did get one bit of criticism from the instructor...

stop using ...(dot dot dot)!  It drove her crazy.

As you can see I didn't bother to take her advice...




looking to the past

Cut and Dried

He was leaning on an old gate and lost in thought .  He did not hear me.  "Good morning," I said.

A little startled he turned my way with a smile and replied, "Good morning.  Sorry I didn't here you.   I guess I'm getting old."

"I didn't mean to startle you," I said.  "Are you alright?"

"Never better," he said.  "Just reliving part of my past.  I used to live here.  Our house was right over there by the big tree.  It's gone now but I guess you can see that.  My mom and dad are buried under that tree but their marker is gone too."

I never said anything.  He had a deep voice that was interesting to listen to.  I could see he had been a strong man and probably still was.  His hands were gnarled like a working mans hands would be.  His eyes were bright blue and actually sparkled when he talked about the house and his parents.

"The house wasn't much but they built it themselves.  It had a pot belly stove in the living room and a wood burning kitchen stove.  I used to love getting up and sitting in the warm kitchen with the smell of burning wood.  My mother would make me a hot chocolate.  Hot chocolate was real in those days.  Real chocolate and real milk.  Now days everything is fake."

He paused for a moment, his thoughts old and deep.

"I used to go fishing right over that hill.  There was a little crick and a pond but somebody stole the water so that's gone to.  Everything is gone or changed.  That's the trouble with getting old, everything changes.  Well I still got my memories.  They can't take that or change it."

I wanted to stay and listen but I had to get home.  I shook his hand and thanked him for sharing his memories and then invited him for a Sunday dinner.

"I might just do that, young man, I might just do that," he smiled.

I could see tears forming at the edge of his eyes.

      Written for "Thursday Tales".  The painting  is by  Yorkshire Artist Les Wilson

so I'm not a writer

I am not a writer.  I write my journal. It's nothing great, just some history for my kids to have in case they ever want to know who and what I was or where I came from or where they came from or maybe they may want to know what I remember about my parents.

The problem is my life is dull and was dull and will probably be dull until the day I die.  I am just like everyone else. I am not a hero.  I have never performed a heroic deed.  I have never done anything to become famous.  I have never committed a dastardly deed or heinous crime.

 However I do have a few stories, same funny and some sad.

While learning to journal I discovered that I like to write stories.  Some stories I write are based on truth with a little bit of the old "Artists prerogative " thrown in.  Some of the stories I write are completely fiction.  I like fiction the best because I can create anything, any place and any body and make my creation move at any pace I want to.

I do not create false truths about myself.  I am not a yam like Popeye but my life is what it is.  I was raised in Utah by good honest working parents.  I was baptised Mormon but I do not follow the dogma as preached. 

I believe in God and accept Jesus Christ as my savior but I have a difficult time categorizing one religion as better than the rest.  I categorize people.  They are either good or they're not good.  I don't accept the black and white of religion.  I believe in the gray and I let God do the judging.

I believe God is intelligent and therefore logical.  I do not believe he will save me because I am a Mormon, or a Baptist or a Catholic or any other of the many religions that populate our world.

I believe I will be "saved" or "damned" for what I do and do not do.

I refuse to judge others by the color of their skin, their religion or the amount of money they have.  I just try to accept people for what they are.

I ramble a lot with my thoughts and my writing.  But rambling is okay because while I am rambling I am also writing.  So after all maybe I am a writer.

Hope I get discovered before I die.



Eddy disappeared the top of his head with a hand gun.

Nobody wondered why.
Nobody cared.

When most people off themselves, it is done in a shroud of mystery.
“Why?” rings from and through their friends and family.
“There is so much to live for.”

Nobody’s voice rang out in horror for Eddy.

“So much to live for” did not apply to Eddy.

Eddy had nothing left to live for.

At least, that is what Eddy decided, so he shot himself and he did it with the efficiency that he used to have when he worked.

However, Eddy no longer worked but he had not forgotten efficiency. He simply put the gun to his right temple and pulled the trigger, blowing his mind all over a filthy alley and an emptty bottle of Thunderbird wine.

Eddy was a homeless drunk with no friends or family left to care about him. Whatever family he had left lived on the east coast. Eddy had left Boston some twenty years earlier to seek his fortune in the west. There were some second or third cousins living somewhere in the east but they either didn’t know about Eddy or they thought he was already dead.

His friends gave up on him a long time before he gave up on himself. They gave up on Eddy because he decided to drink himself to death and they did not know what to do so they just excused him from their minds.

Another drunk found him and called the police. After a short investigation they scooped him up and took him to the morgue. Eddie didn’t have any identification on him but he did have one of my business cards in the inside pocket of his worn out jacket.

The police called me.

I have no idea why he kept the card. I hadn’t seen or talked to Eddie in over two years. My last contact with him was when I took him to an Alcoholic Anomomous meeting and excused him from my mind.

I knew that if I stayed with him we would both end up in the gutter. I had clawed my way out and I knew Eddy had to claw his way out or not claw his way out. He was beyond my help.
But I was pretty sure he wouldn’t. His hurt was just too deep.

I had only been dumped by a wife.

He had lost a wife and a child.
But he did not lose them to divorce or separation.

He had lost them to the grim reaper.

He had lost them to death.

Eddy had been a hard worker with a young wife and a two year old son. They had just bought a new home with a pool and the worst thing possible happened. His wife lost track of the boy for a few minutes and he drowned in the pool. They were devastated.

But, that wasn’t the end of the heartbreak for Eddy. His wife committed suicide during the funeral of the boy. She told Eddy she needed to go home for something or some reason. She never returned to the funeral. When Eddy went to get her he found her lifeless body in the pool.

Eddy never recovered. He turned to alcohol to replace his wife and child. We all tried to help but his sorrow was too deep. He lost his job, his house and his friends. I was the last one.

He hadn’t changed much from the last time I saw him. He hadn’t been a big man to begin with and his diet of alcohol had taken away most of the weight he had. His face was gaunt and skinny and his flashing Irish smile and Irish grin that we all loved so much had left him long before the top of his head did.
But somehow Eddy looked peaceful.

I don’t know how God punishes drunks that commit suicide
but I believe in Eddy's case
God will show him all the mercy in his power.


directions to hell

One of the most recent fads to hit America is the GPS system. Everyone has to have one. They do not need one but they have to have one. They need to keep up with the neighbors.

I have never felt the need to buy one. I have figured out how to maneuver through the cities of Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Atlanta and the ugly city of Buffalo, New York.

I accomplished this by having a map and some common sense.

Oh yes, I have been lost and I have hovered around my destination for long periods of time. However, I have always felt that the lost and hovering times were my adventures. I've seen places that I would have never thought of visiting. I have seen the barrios and the ghettos of several major cities and believe it or not I am glad that I have. (probably more glad to be alive)

When I am alone, being lost is not a problem. I just keep searching until I find what I am looking for.

My troubles start when my wife is with me. She has a lot of trouble controlling the car when I am driving. That does not stop her from trying.

She has a habit of telling me where to turn and adds to the problem by using her finger as a turn signal. I used to get mad as hell but over the years I have learned to accept her directions and not pay attention.

But now she has acquired a "Droid" phone. When she acquired the "Droid" she discovered that it has a built in GPS system. I can thank my techie son for that little tidbit of information.

"Oh goody," she said. "We will never get lost again." I just rolled my eyes wondering what I was in for.

It is really ugly. I mean the whole scenario of my wife and me driving to new destinations is ugly. At least it is ugly for me. When we get into the car out comes the "Droid".

"Turn left", says the "Droid."

"Turn left here," my wife says, with her finger pointing left as if I don't know which way left is.

The really excruciating thing is the damned "Droid" has to tell me how to get out of my own neighborhood.

Sometimes, just to stir the pot, I will not turn or I will turn the wrong way. They both start jabbering a mile a minute. The "Droid" wants me to turn at the first street I come to. It seems very paranoid that I am going to get lost.

My wife is upset because I "don't listen" and wants me to make a U turn at the next corner.

If I am lucky we are on a street with miles and miles of no U turn intersections. Then I can go into the back neighborhoods where even the "Droid" can't find its way out.

I keep my mouth shut and smile inwardly.

A guy has to have some fun.

About Me

My photo
So Cal, United States
I am an apprentice writer of short stories and I also attempt a little poetry.