1017. UMBOO THE ELEPHANT . HOWARD R. GARIS
UMBOO THE ELEPHANT
HOWARD R. GARIS
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“Oh, my! But it’s hot! It is just too hot for anything!” cried Chako, one of the monkeys in the circus cage. “It is hotter under this tent than ever it was in the jungle! Whew!” and he hung by his tail and swung to and fro from a wooden bar.
“In the jungle we could find a pool of water where we could keep cool,” said another monkey, who was poking around the floor of the cage, hoping he could find a peanut. But there were only shells. “I wish I could go back to the jungle,” he chattered.
“What did you come away from the jungle for, if you don’t like it in this circus?” asked Woo-Uff, the big yellow lion, who lay on his back in his cage, his legs stuck up in the air, for he was cooler that way. “Why did you come from the jungle, Chako?”
“I didn’t want to come,” answered the swinging monkey. “But some white and black hunters caught me, and a lot more of us chattering chaps, and took us away from the jungle.”
“That’s right, my boy!” exclaimed the deep, rumbly voice of Umboo, the biggest elephant in the circus. “None of us animals would have come away from the jungle if we could have had our way. But, now that we are here, we must make the best of it.”
“How can one make the best of it when it is so hot?” asked Chako. “The sun shines down on this circus tent hotter than ever it did in the jungle. And there is no pool of water where we can splash and be cool.”
“Oh, if water is all you want, I can give you some of that,” spoke
Umboo. “Wait a minute!”
Near the elephants, of whom Umboo was one on a long line, chained to stakes driven in the ground, was a big tub of water, put there for them to drink when they wanted to. Umboo put his long, rubbery hose of a trunk down into this tub of water, and sucked up a lot, just as you fill your rubber ball at the bathroom basin.
“Look out now, monkeys!” cried the elephant. “It’s going to rain!” and he sort of laughed away down in his throat. He couldn’t laugh through his nose, as his nose was his trunk, and that was full of water. “Look out for a shower!” he cried.
With that the elephant went:
Out from his trunk, as if from a hose, sprinkled a shower of water. Over the cage of monkeys it sprayed, wetting them as might a fall of rain.
“Here comes some more!” cried Umboo, and again he dipped his trunk in the tub of water, sucked up some in the two hollow places, and again squirted it over the monkeys’ cage.
“Oh, that’s good! That’s fine!” cried Chako. “That was like being in a jungle rain. I’m cooler now. Squirt some more, Umboo!”
“No, hold on, if you please!” rumbled another elephant. “It is all right for Umboo to splatter some water on you poor monkeys, but if he quirts away all in the tub we will have none to drink.”
“That’s so,” said Umboo. “I can’t squirt away all the water, Chako. We big elephants have to drink a lot more than you little monkeys. But when the circus men fill our tub again, I’ll squirt some more on you.”