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Boil the kettle and unpack the trunk

Updated on January 11, 2011

An elephant and a kangaroo got on very well and would like to go off for a picnic, but they didn't know anything about the picnics, and had not the faintest idea of what to do to get ready, so the elephant asked a child what normally he did on a picnics. The child said, they collect wood and make a fire to boil the kettle for tea.

The elephant and the Kangaroo went off to the picnic-place. The kangaroo collected the wood and carried twigs and sticks back in her pouch; the elephant pushed down trees with his forehead and staggered back to the picnic-place with them rolled up in his trunk. They lit a bonfire made of whole trees.

The elephant said,"Now, let's boil the kettle!" He produced a brightly shining copper kettle and very large black iron saucepan, filled the saucepan with water, and popped the kettle in the saucepan of water, and put the saucepan on the fire; for he thought that you boil a kettle in the same way you boil an egg, or boil a cabbage!

When the kettle was boiled as tender as tender could be, they cut it fairly in half and shared it between them, and ate it for tea.

When it was getting late, and almost dark, the elephant said, "I am afraid we shall have to spend the night here, Kindly pass the pepper; I want to unpack my trunk!"

So then the kangaroo passed the elephant the pepper, and the elephant took a good sniff. Then he gave a most tremendous sneeze, and everything he had packed in his trunk shot out of it - tooth-brush, spare socks, gym shoes, a comb, and a bag of bull's-eyes, his pyjamas, and his Sunday suit. So the elephant put on his pyjamas and lay down to sleep; but Kangaroo hadn't got a trunk, she kept the fire blazing brightly and sat up by the fire until next morning.

Both elephant and kangaroo agreed they had a most fantastic picnic ever!


[Abridged from The Elephant's Picnic, by Richard Hughes.]


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