very next morning, when there was nothing left of the Equinoxes, because
the Precession had preceded according to precedent, this ‘satiable Elephant’s
Child took a hundred pounds of bananas (the little short red kind), and
a hundred pounds of sugar-cane (the long purple kind), and seventeen melons
(the greeny-crackly kind), and said to all his dear families, “Good-bye.
I am going to the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about
with fever-trees, to find out what the Crocodile has for dinner.” And they
all spanked him once more for luck, though he asked them most politely
Then he went away, a little warm, but not at all
astonished, eating melons, and throwing the rind about, because he could
not pick it up.
He went from Graham’s Town to Kimberley, and from
Kimberley to Khama’s Country, and from Khama’s Country he went east by
north, eating melons all the time, till at last he came to the banks of
the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees,
precisely as Kolokolo Bird had said.
Now you must know and understand, O Best Beloved,
that till that very week, and day, and hour, and minute, this ‘satiable
Elephant’s Child had never seen a Crocodile, and did not know what one
was like. It was all his ‘satiable curtiosity.
The first thing that he found was a Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake
curled around a rock.
“‘Scuse me,” said the Elephant’s Child most politely,
“but have you seen such a thing as a Crocodile in these promiscuous parts?”
“Have I seen a crocodile?” said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake,
in a voice of dretful scorn. “What will you ask me next?”
“‘Scuse me,” said the Elephant’s Child, “but could
you kindly tell me what he has for dinner?”
Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake uncoiled
himself very quickly from the rock, and spanked the Elephant’s Child with
his scalesome, flailsome tail.
“That is odd,” said the Elephant’s Child, “because
my father and mother, and my uncle and my aunt, not to mention my other
aunt, the Hippopotamus, and my other uncle, the Baboon, have all spanked
me for my ‘satiable curtiosity – and I suppose this is the same thing.”