Rataplan, a rogue elephant; and other stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 168 pages of information about Rataplan, a rogue elephant; and other stories.

And Groar thought it was the very finest baby he had ever seen, and was fonder and prouder of Gean than ever.  As for Gean, she was sublimely happy, and was never tired of fondling and caressing her little one and attending to its many wants.

For it was a delicate baby, and for some time after its birth it seemed very doubtful whether it would live or not.  But Gean tended and nourished it, kept it nice and warm, and in due course of time it grew strong and healthy.

And here we must leave Gean.  She had a good home, plenty to eat, a kind husband and pretty little baby, and what more could any giraffe want?


The first thing that Keesa remembered was waking up in a dark, warm place, and feeling very hungry and a bit chilly.

With a little shiver he feebly gathered himself together and crept closer to the warm side of his small prison.

There was a curious something inside this warm part of his prison, which kept up a continuous, methodical beating, sometimes faster and sometimes slower, but never stopping.

Keesa did not think much about it then.  His tiny, flexible, little mouth was seeking instinctively for something to satisfy his hunger, and, having found it, he troubled himself no further about the little, throbbing sound that never stopped.  He was too young then to know that it was the beating of his mother’s heart; but as he grew older he learned to regard it as a very barometer for danger signals.  He knew that whenever it began to beat quicker than usual his mother was scenting danger; and that when it throbbed very, very quickly the danger had come, and was causing his mother great anxiety on his account.

All this he learned as he grew larger, but at this time he was only a few days’ old; a tiny, soft, helpless thing, only about an inch and a half in length; and all he could do was just stay quietly in his mother’s pouch—­where she had carefully put him as soon as he was born—­rest against her heart, and drink as much as he could.

He stayed in this nice, warm place for several months, and his weight increased so gradually that his mother did not notice it.

After a time, however, he began to find pouch-life rather monotonous, and so, one day, he poked his funny, little head out of the pouch and had his first peep at the world.

It seemed to be a very pleasant world, but he had no idea before that his mother was so big, or that she could hop such tremendous distances.

When he looked up at her he saw two little paws above him hanging down in just the position that a dog puts his paws when begging.  Above these little paws he saw a small, graceful head, long and somewhat oval, with outstanding ears, soft, gentle eyes, and a flexible mouth, with cleft lips which opened every now and then and showed white but savage teeth which looked as though they could bite very sharply when their owner liked.

Project Gutenberg
Rataplan, a rogue elephant; and other stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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