I re-read one of my childhood books this week, one that I received as a child in South Africa. Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories provided imaginative explanations for things that were part of my world. I read this book to my children when they were small and their absolute favourite short story was The Elephant’s Child. It was read so often that my youngest daughter could repeat it perfectly from memory at the age of four. Her preschool teacher was so impressed that she videotaped her doing so. The poetic rhythm, repetition, and clever alliterations that are used to describe the life of the little elephant who was full of “’satiable curiosity”, made the story a treat for the ear.
Each time the phrase “great grey-green greasy Limpopo River all set about with fever trees” was read, the girls would break out in giggles of laughter. Every equinox I remember that the Elephant’s Child's adventure starts in the middle of the precession of Equinoxes and continues when “there is nothing left of the Equinoxes, because the Precession had preceded according to precedent.”
Follow the links provided to read this story as well as others in the book. The site even provides the original illustrations by the author that are included in my book.