In a sleepy English town in the early 1900’s, there lived a little girl balancing between the ages of six and seven. The little girl’s name was Tally. She was a wild little thing who very soon became out-of-place in her quiet English town. She would run though the forests, jump over streams, roll down all the hills, and play marbles in the streets, but ever time she was at the height of her game, gentleman, ladies, farmers, or maids would chase her off for causing “too much excitement.” Tally’s parents soon began to get complaints of their daughter “stirring up the air.” With many hours spent together discussing ways to keep their daughter out of the people’s way, Tally’s parents made the decision to get her a pet.
“Not a rat,” said Tally’s father, “she will surly lose the thing in our pantry.”
“Indeed she shall. Not a cat either,” agreed Tally’s mother, “they are much too delicate, she will soon lose interest.”
“Much too delicate. I should hate to think of a dog,” informed Tally’s father, “the poor brute will be run to exhaustion.”
“And not a pretty, little song bird,” Tally’s mother told her father, “she should be expected to get into too much mischief with a pet who can fly.”
Tally’s parents were unable to come to an agreement on which pet would be best for Tally. It’s not that Tally was cruel. On the contrary, Tally loved animals of all shapes and sizes and would never wish to harm a single hair on any of their heads. It’s just that she had too much spirit for an ordinary pet to handle.
The morning after Tally’s parents had their discussion, they all took a trip to town together. Tally soon ran ahead after her ball while her mother and father noticed an old man standing on the street corner with a sign that read “RETIRED CIRCUS ELEPHANT FOR SALE TO GOOD HOME! ALL OFFERS CONSIDERED.” The parents exchanged a look. That was it! If no ordinary pet would do for Tally, it would have to be an extraordinary pet!
Seeing as no one seemed interested in the man’s sign, Tally’s parents took their chance. Before they knew it they had bought an elephant. They gave the old gentleman his dues and he informed them that with the father’s help, he would have him delivered late this afternoon. The father gratefully agreed and followed the man to wherever the elephant was being kept. Tally’s mother quickly rushed her home and made Tally play the piano for her until father arrived – which was a task in itself just to get Tally to stay still!
When Tally and her mother heard a knock on the door, Tally’s mother allowed her to go receive it. When little Tally opened the great door, she saw her father grinning wildly while a huge, solemn-looking elephant stood beside him! Tally was delighted! She ran all around the elephant and coaxed it out into the center of the garden so they had more room to play. Reluctantly at first, the elephant followed Tally to the garden. There in the daffodils, Tally bestowed the elephant with the name “Rumba” and they became instant companions.
Within a week of Rumba’s arrival, the two were inseparable. Never has Tally again bothered a neighbor or a towns folk with her rowdiness, for only her laughter and Rumba’s trumpet echo through their garden.
© Lindsay Amber