Wake the Imagination
I wrote Oliver's Elephant for my nephew when I visited him and
his family at their home in Colorado. It was the holiday season
and each of my three sisters were there.
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
Early the next year, I had the chance to visit the YMCA in New
York 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
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.
Oliver's Elephant by Tim Seston
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.