Every day, the little elephant stood guard.
After all, there was so much to watch out for. There was Mrs. Finney’s cat, a grey fluff of a thing with half a tail that insisted on scraping it’s claws down the mailbox every day. There was the German Shepard that treated the bushes as it’s own personal toilette and the terrible triplets that raced back and forth across the yard at least four times to and fro to the bus, as none of them seemed to remember their backpacks or books.
But the real danger to the garden safari was not the wayward cats or terrible children, but the alligator across the street.
Perhaps alligator was an exaggeration. After all, all you could see is the yellow flash of eyes and sometimes the slight swish of a tail. Whatever dwelled in the depths of the garden pond across the way was no friend of the elephant’s. Until he had reason otherwise, he stood watch, day and night.
Of course, nothing ever happens the way you plan. It was the most freckled of the triplets that picked him up. ”Let’s play with him!”
Let’s not, the elephant pleaded silently.
“We’ll have a safari!” the other triplet cried. ”We need a lion!”
“And a gazelle!”
“A gazelle?” The tallest one looked at his brother scornfully.
“They drink at the watering hole,” the smallest one explained.
“The watering hole!” Freckles shifted the elephant onto his hip and looked across to the Pond. ”Great idea!”
That’s a terrible idea! Much to his silent dismay, no one listened to the elephant. Before he could even knock them with his trunk, he was being rushed across the street in the arms of the terrible triplet. Sweat poured down his painted back. He had never faced an alligator before, though he had heard stories. Maybe he’d get lucky and it would have moved on. Maybe it had no teeth. Maybe the child would trip and a car would hit him, propelling the elephant safely back into his safari. All right, he had to admit the last one was a stretch, but what was an elephant to do?
The triplet plopped the elephant down on the edge of the water. ”Stay here,” he ordered. ”We’re going to go get our lions and tigers.” Ignoring the elephant’s trumpet of distress, they sprinted back across the street to their home.
The elephant eyed the water warily. So this was it. He would die at the mercy of a vicious beast. Bubbles dotted the surface. He raised his trunk and prepared for battle. A silver fin slowly rose above the water. A shark? He hadn’t expected a shark. How did one fight a shark? A large bubble popped and two big yellow eyes met his. Fish lips popped and pursed.
The elephant laughed so hard, even the birds in the trees heard. A Koi fish! A cute koi fish! Leaning down, he dipped his trunk into the water. The fish swam underneath, the bubbles tickling his nose.
Who knew there were fish in the garden safari?
Stay tuned, Invisible Friends! A new second part to Birthday wishes tomorrow and a special guest post Saturday!
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