the Elephant’s Child put his head down close to the Crocodile’s musky,
tusky mouth, and the Crocodile caught him by his little nose, which up
to that very week, day, hour, and minute, had been no bigger than a boot,
though much more useful.
“I think,” said the Crocodile – and he said it
between his teeth, like this – “I think to-day I will begin with Elephant’s
At this, O Best Beloved, the Elephant’s Child was
much annoyed, and he said, speaking through his nose, like this, “Led go!
You are hurtig be!”
Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake scuffled
down from the bank and said, “My young friend, if you do not now, immediately
and instantly, pull as hard as ever you can, it is my opinion that your
acquaintance in the large-pattern leather ulster” (and by this he meant
the Crocodile) “will jerk you into yonder limpid stream before you can
say Jack Robinson.”
This is the way Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake always
Then the Elephant’s child sat back on his little
haunches, and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and his nose began to stretch.
And the Crocodile floundered into the water, making it all creamy with
great sweeps of his tail, and he pulled, and pulled, and pulled.
And the Elephant’s Child’s nose kept on stretching;
and the Elephant’s child spread all his little four legs and pulled, and
pulled, and pulled, and his nose kept on stretching; and the Crocodile
threshed his tail like an oar, and he pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and
at each pull the Elephant’s Child’s nose grew longer and longer–and it
hurt him hijjus!!
Then the Elephant’s Child felt his legs slipping,
and he said through his nose, which was now nearly five feet long, “This
is to butch for be!”
Then the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake came down
from the bank, and knotted himself in a double-clove-hitch round the Elephant’s
Child’s hind legs, and said, “Rash and inexperienced traveller, we will
now seriously devote ourselves to a little high tension, because if we
do not, it is my impression that yonder self-propelling man-of-war with
the armour-plated upper deck” (and by this, O Best Beloved, he meant the
Crocodile) “will permanently vitiate your future career.”
That is the way all Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snakes
So he pulled, and the Elephant’s Child pulled,
and the Crocodile pulled, but the Elephant’s Child and the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake
pulled hardest; and at last the Crocodile let go of the Elephant’s Child’s
nose with a plop that you could hear all up and down the Limpopo.