143. The Elephant in the Swamp

A hungry elephant saw a bamboo-palm in a swamp. He rushed into the water, tore down the bamboo-palm, and grabbed the tender palm-leaf bud, but being so excited he dropped it into the water.
The elephant grabbed, reaching with his trunk: nothing! He reached again: nothing! He couldn’t find the delicious food, and the more he splashed, the muddier the water became. He couldn’t see anything.
“Calm!” croaked a frog.
The elephant wasn’t calm.
“Calm!” repeated the frog.
Finally the elephant heard the frog.
He stood still.
The water grew clear.
The elephant found the palm-leaf bud and ate it.

[a Bulu story from Cameroon] 

Inspired by: "The Story of the Hungry Elephant" in Bulu Tales from Kamerun, West Africa (published in Journal of American Folkklore) by Adolph N. Krug, 1912.
Notes: You can read the original story online.

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