|I wrote Oliver's Elephant for my nephew during
My three sisters were all there to hear it for the
first time. Oliver's mom had been an actress.
The second sister was studying language
development of children in Delaware. The third
was the after school program director at a
YMCA in New York. I had the chance to visit her
YMCA and tell Oliver's Elephant to a group of 40
elementary school children. It was a great
audience to try out my material before starting
my professional career as a storyteller at the
start of 2006.
The picture below is the elephant I create while
telling the story. The big blue body also
doubles as my carrying case for all the toys I
bring to a show.
I get all kinds of reactions to this "elephant"
from "What is that?" to "Ahhhh" to just plain
giggles. It's a fun story to tell.
|"Go up to your room," his parents both said
"We'll soon be upstairs to tuck you in bed."
Oliver said, “Please, I’d like some milk first.
I need it real bad to quench all my thirst.”
He poured it himself, then as he drank it,
He grabbed rubber bands, toy balls and blankets.
Up in the hallway he found one more thing:
Colorful beads that were locked in a ring.
As Oliver opened his bedroom door
He heard an elephant there on his floor
His whole face lit up with a sheepish grin
He whispered, “Hooray” and he tip-toed in.
Now an elephant in the room can be
A difficult thing for people to see.
But Oliver knew it would appear soon
He opened his mouth and whistled a tune:
And then there it was. It wasn’t a joke
He opened his mouth and softly he spoke
“Excuse me please, Mr. Elephant sir.
Did you know that my name is . . . Oliver?
And you’re in my room. I hope you can stay.
There’s lots we can do. Come on now let’s play.”
Oliver’s Elephant perked up an ear
And said to the boy, “Come on over here
I’ll play with you now until you must rest
Tomorrow you’ll say, ‘last night was the best.’
Oliver nodded, then with a smile
Sat with his pal and played for a while
He climbed up its tail and rode on its head
Until it was time to fall into bed.
He held both the tusks and slid down its trunk
And landed ker-plop on top of his bunk.
Oliver’s elephant stayed in plain sight.
Keeping him safe for the rest of the night.