This is in response to Free Write Friday: Magic in the Backyard.
The Elephant Princess
By: Meena Rose
Makayla: “Mama, can you tell me a story?”
Me: “What kind of story?”
Makayla: “A princess story!”
Me: “Once upon a time there was an elephant princess whose name was ______”
Me: “Once upon a time there was a elephant princess whose name was Celina. Celina loved to go out and play and make friends.”
Makayla: “Is Celina a good girl or a bad girl?”
Me: “Let’s see what Celina does today and you tell me. Ok?”
Makayla: “Uh-ha, Mama. So Celina loved to go out and play.”
Me: “Yes, Celina loved to go out and play and make friends. Every day she woke up bright and early and was full of energy. Celina’s Mama, Queen Anita, gave her one rule to follow. She said ‘Celina, you can do what you want but first you must wait till the grown ups wake up and ask them for permission first.’“
Makayla: “Just one rule, really? Can I be her?…. Ummm, OK, I won’t interrupt!”
Me: “And every day, Celina paced around the sleeping grown ups waiting for one of them to open their eyes. She would run to the first grown up who woke up and ask ‘Can I go play? I want to see what is on the other side of the hill.’
One day, Celina asked if she could go visit her cousin Rho. The first grown up, the General, said ‘No!’ Celina decided to wait till her Mama, the Queen, woke up. Her Mama would not mind, she was sure of it.
Celina waited and waited. She started drawing pictures in the dirt. She was so busy drawing that she did not see her Mama wake up and walk over to where she was drawing. Her Mama tapped her on her back and Celina screamed ‘Ahhh! Can’t you see I was drawing?’ Turning around and realizing it was her Mama, Celina quickly apologized.
‘Good Morning, Mama. Can I please go visit with Rho?’ Celina asked in her most polite voice.
‘No, Celina. Not today. Try playing with other friends today,’ her Mama said and then went back to the business of being a queen.”
Makayla: “All of you Mamas talk the same way!”
Me: “Celina decided that she was going to see her cousin Rho after all. She was going to sneak out when the General was not looking. To get to Rho’s home, all she had to do was cross the river and take a left. Or, was that a right? Celina could not remember but she believed that she would remember how to get there after she crossed the river.”
Makayla: “This is a bad idea Celina!”
Me: “So it was, Celina found herself walking away from her home and heading towards the river. She saw that the river was running very fast. She thought perhaps that was may be why the grown ups said ‘no’. Still she decided to cross. Because of that, she quickly lost her footing and the river carried her downstream very quickly. Even though she was scared, she kept thinking about how to get out of the river. Celina noticed a tree branch reaching out over the river and she reached out with her trunk to hold on to it. Slowly, very slowly, she was able to pull herself out of the river.
Now that Celina was on dry land, she realized that even though she was safe, she was completely lost. She started to feel scared and she even started crying. She wanted to be home with her family. She wanted to go there now. She wondered if by magic one of the grown ups could find her and take her home.”
Makayla: “We have to save Celina, Mama. We can’t leave her alone. She is too little!”
Me: “Just then Celina remembered something her Mama said. ‘Celina, listen to me. Someday this may save your life. To go to our home in the morning, walk in the direction of the sun and when you can spot the Rock of Light, start walking in that direction.’
Because of that, she stopped crying and pulled in her strength and she realized that would need to cross the river, walk towards the sun and then walk towards the Rock of Light. Celina’s smile came back to her face. She now had a plan and she could do something.
She walked back along side the river until finally she found a safe spot to cross. As she stepped into the water, she moved her body so that she could catch a tree branch on the other side of the river. Now that Celina knew what it was like to be in the river, it was not scary this time. She climbed up onto dry land again. She was so proud of herself for getting on the same side of the land as her home.
Celina then followed her Mama’s directions exactly. One step after the other, she kept going. Her feet were starting to hurt but she still kept on going. She wanted to go home. As she got closer to her home, she could hear the grown ups calling out her name.”
Makayla: “Celina is in so so much trouble!”
Me: “Celina ran towards the one voice she knew over anyone else’s. She ran to her Mama as tears of joy came rolling down her cheeks. Celina threw herself at her Mama giving her a big hug.
Queen Anita hugged Celina back and said ‘I am so glad you are safe! I was so worried. Why did you sneak out? You know the rules.’
‘Yes, Mama. I wanted to see Rho. Both you and the General said ‘no’ and it did not make sense to me why you would say no. I know why now. It was the river, it was running too fast this morning. I am so sorry. I will not break the rules again,’ Celina answered. She then told her Mama everything that had happened.
‘Celina, thank you for telling me the truth. You were very brave today. Come let’s go eat a snack while I think of what time-out to give you,’ Queen Anita said.
Makayla: “I wonder what kind of trouble Celina will get into next.”
Me: “Time to close your eyes and go to sleep. Celina will be waiting for us tomorrow, ready for another adventure.”