Tag Archives: the elephant

The Rabbit: What a Carrotker!

by the elephant

prof pic rabbit


We join The Rabbit in her kitchen seeing if we’ll be able to hop into her head for a bit. Of all the characters in The Tree, the audience may find this fluffy bunny to be the most intriguing of all. Try as they might, they cannot figure her out. Is it her love of carrots? Is it her unique way of problem solving? Is it in fact because she has misplaced a few of the carrots in her own noggin?!? A bowl of these orange veggies sits in between us, The Rabbit’s food offering to a well-known reporter.

The Elephant: Hello Rabbit, thanks for these carrots, they’re scrumptious!!! Do you grow them yourself? I can really taste the difference between these different varieties, well done, well done.

The Rabbit: Hello Ellie, welcome to my kikity kitchen! As for the carrots, the simplest explanation is the appalling fact that THERE ARE NO CARROTS ON THIS HARE-BRAINED TREE! None to be found. Why would anyone create something so deeply flawed?!?

TE: But Rabbit, a carrot is a root, not a fruit.

TR: What I was trying to say Ellie, was that this tree doesn’t grow any carrots, no one in this tree grows any carrots, and there are NO CARROTS—

TE: A root, Rabbit.

TR: …anywhere. So. I am a genius and have collected these different froots from the tree. Yes, froots. I have then washed and sanitized them. Then I make one end extremely pointy, using any materials close by. Finally I apply a coat of orange paint, place some foliage on the top, and turn them into carrots. Oh, and then I arrange them neatly in a bowl.

TE: …I’m not sure that’s how it works…but let’s back up. Tell me about how you stumbled onto this idea of

TR: Sure it is! When The Wolf puts on grandma’s clothes, he’s grandma, when he puts on sheep’s clothes he’s a sheep, when I put on The Wolf’s clothes I’m The Wolf. When you add an ‘f,’ a root becomes a froot. And these, these here are carrots. Understand?

TE: Well Elephants are very intelligent, therefore, yes I understand. So…I guess I’ll eat this…strawberry-shaped carrot. Thank you very much Rabbit. Saaay, you don’t happen to have any peanut-shaped carrots do you?

TR: Oh what I’d give for some carrot-shaped carrots! Do you have any idea how much time I spend sharpening and carving, carving and sharpening, painting?

TE: Why yes Rabbit, I think I do.rabbit 6 beige

TR: And you know what?? They’re creating purple carrots.

TE: Who?

TR: The Tree! Ye Olde Paint Shoppe! How should I know?? I am not buying purple paint! You wouldn’t happen to know if there are any purple froots, wouldya?

TE: (visions of mangosteens dancing in her head) No! Not a one, as far as I know! So tell me about the first carrot you created at The Tree.

TR: That thing? Most disgusting carrot I’ve ever made. But you know what they say, you’ve gotta grind a lot of froots to make carrots? Sometimes rabbit 7 beigeeven carrots—have you seen those baby carrots?? Why, the abomination! But I’ve never made one that tasted quite so bad since that first one, so I’d say I’m learning the ropes.

TE: I believe this is a photo of the experience?

TR: Eugh. That it is. The taste made me play my cymbals a halfnote too early, that carrot ruined the screeching finale!

TE: That was you?! I was wondering who ruined the ending. Not that the girl was even paying attention. Fruit hoarder, that one. Maybe it was a timing issue—your brain thought your hands were playing the cymbals, sent the message to them … and your hands said ‘no, brain, as you can see (sending a quick message to the eyes) we’re not playing the cymbals, you might try the ears’ and so by the time the message got to the ea-

TR: Yes, I get the idea, Ellie. But it wasn’t my fault! Or my brain’s! It was that stupid worm—er…carrot. Anyway, I wasn’t skilled at that point in seeing a froot’s outer carrot. I had just moved from the paradise hutch by the brook in the glen, still trying to hold onto my dream of catching on with Looney Tunes. An extra. Stand-in. Mr. Bunny’s personal carottier. Anything that might pay me in carrots. But to paraphrase Dorothy, if I ever go looking for carrots again, I won’t go any further than my own backyard in The Glen.

TE: Why did you leave the hutch by the brook in the glen if it was so perfect?

TR: How should I know?? Talk to the illustrator. One day I’m digging up a juicy, fibrous, water-soaked carrot, just the right size and sweetness, next thing I’m listening to some parrot squawk about a girl! I suppose I should be grateful, I mean the author casually mentioned my species in a throwaway reference on page ferret. But do I get a page number?? And then later on page banana, the parrot suggests the girl should eat a carrot instead of fruit! It was the illustrator who saw my true potential, my genius. But I wasn’t cut out for playing the tragic hero. Talk to that illustrator, and you may understand what it’s like to be a rabbit in a book about a tree.

TE: At least your face is drawn.

TR: Yeah. To the literary world you’re the mystery elephant. What was that all about? Yes my face is drawn. But could it be grumpier?? Do I seem like a grumpy rabbit to you??!!!

TE: Not at all, Rabbit, not at all. Tell me more about your first ‘carrot’ conquest.

TR: Well, at first I just did it on a lark.

TE: On a lark? Did she mind?

TR: No no, not the bird. A lark. You know, an impulse. Sometimes Ellie, your rabbit 3 beigevocabulary…

TE: Too long in the tree. Yes of course. A lark.

TR: All the sudden one day, here’s this big green storefront, appears out of nowhere, with a sign ‘Ye Olde Paint Shoppe’ hanging just inside. It was that illustrator, I’d bet my day’s supply of froots on it! And there was this red carpet, very inviting, at the front door. More pink, really, now that I think of it. And forked at the end—I thought at the time so that two customers could enter together. How was I to know it was a giant stuffed snake, and the carpet was a retractable tongue? What kind of illustrator does that to unsuspecting furry woodland creatures?? The nightmares . . .

TE: It’s outrageous. Do continue.

rabbit 2 beigeTR: So there was the sign—sale on orange paint—today only! Well I remember seeing that worm playing cards with the parrot, monkey and ferret. How does a worm play cards anyway? Lousy card player. But it was the shape that caught my attention. So…carrot-like. When I walked into the anaconda’s mouth, things just fell into place. The paint, the brush, the giant pencil sharpener that doubled as a drum on page blueberry, thanks to the illustrator’s warped imagination. But I glimpsed my future. I would create a new class of fruits, one that would double, triple, quadruple the number of carrots available to animals living in, on or near giant trees with thousands of…potential froots.

TE: I’m beginning to grasp your master plan, Rabbit. Carry on!

TR: I would make them, but at first the process was sloppy. Spilt paint. Emptying the pencil sharpener from a high tree branch.

TE: Ewww. No need to paint that picture, Rabbit! Especially for the ants!

rabbit 5 beigeTR: Now I’ve honed it down to a precise art and I get real pleasure from the completion of my creations. Sometimes even my creations appreciate the beauty of the things that I have created, such as my first carrot. They get a little too infatuated with their ‘makeovers.’ It’s also why I have removed all the mirrors I could find—they forget that even art is impermanent.

TE: Impermanent, or potentially edible?

TR: Difference, please?!

TE: Wow. That’s deep, Rabbit.

TR: Yeah. My favorite part is sharpening the end, I like to pretend that I’m a mad scientist at this particular step because it makes everything way more fun. rabbit 4 beigeWhoever said not to play with your food wasn’t a rabbit.

TE: Yes, well. That’s not quite as…deep.

ANNIE-THE-CONDA: I’ll thsssay! Who’thsss up for a round of poker? Huh? Huh? I’ll play any game with you, you choose I play, waddaya say to that? Roll the dithssssce? Thssssnake eyes winths, of courthse! Pretty good odds wouldn’tcha thsssay? We can play in the foyer of Ye Olde Paint Thssshoppe if you like!

TR: Ahhhhh! Ye Olde Paint Shoppe finally has it in for me! Or worse…the illustrator!

TE: I hear ya, Rabby—The Little Prince comes to mind…let’s change subjects!

ANNIE-THE-CONDA: (burps out a mouse she ate for breakfast)

TE: AHHHHH! A mouse!!!!!!!!

ANNIE-THE-CONDA: I don’t take kindly to thsshoplifters. Forkthss, tuna in “next time” for another interview by The Elephant! Ellie, come down out of that tree before you break the branch! Relaxth!! I’ve got a paint shoppe to run, I don’t have thssix months to digethsst large mammalthsss!

TR: Annie, be nicer to the local fauna!

ANNIE-THE-CONDA: This from a rabbit who is painting fruits and small creatures orange and sharpening them to a point?

TE: Yes, well folks, that’s nature for ya! Survival of the fittest! Off to the treadmill! Tune in next time for another edition of Interview with The Elephant!

TR: (bouncing away quickly), “Hopping mad I tell ya, HOPPING MAD!!”

Annie: Another missssssssed ssssssssale! Aw ssssssssssshucks!

McGarrett F: Hey, that’s my line!            ferretcloseup2

Edward Scissorhandles: Why does McGarrett get all the good lines??tailfeathermonkey-beige

Monkey: Would you rather have a nail in your tail feather?

Butterfly: That’s a cryin’ shame, it oughta be against the law, Monkey!

Monkey: Thank you. If I ever find those worms ….

butterflyTR: Say, that butterfly looks familiar…And what’s that purple thing up there in the tree?

Mangosteena: Don’t even think about it, floppy ears …girl prof pic

Germie: A Contagious Personality

By the elephant

germie prof pic

The scene opens with Germie in his red velvet chair, sitting in front of the fireplace with a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Legs crossed, caressing his pet dust mite, Germie offers me a cup of tea complete with a straw. To be clear, this straw is not of the drab ferret variety, it is of the best and finest crazy straw variety. As I use my trunk to blow bubbles into my tea, Germie opens up a box of chocolates and prepares to speak…

THE ELEPHANT: So Germie, why aren’t you drinking tea? It’s really quite lovely, especially with the sprinkled peanut shells. Delectable even! (blows more tea bubbles)

GERMIE: Gots my hot chocolate, Ellie! Dontcha know that tea is toxic to germs?

TE: Oh! You’re a germ? I thought that was just your name!

G: Yes, my name is Germie, but “that” is actually my brother’s name…

TE: Um …

G: It’s a joke Ellie, lighten up wouldja? My brother’s name is Germaine. He’s the “main” germ where we’re from, haha!

TE: Well, uh …

G: I can see this word play is too Ellie-vated for ya, here, let me deconstrunk it for the audience—

TE: (hyperventilating and on the verge of what would be a tragically destructive panic attack) No, no, no, Germie, no need for that!!!! And by ‘that’ I don’t mean your half sister! Let’s…let’s talk about you. Yeah, you and yourrr…..alleged tryst with the slippery worm.

Germy 1 beigeG: Ellie, a “yoo-hoo” in a chef’s hat does not tryst make! Although I wouldn’t mind cooking up something for that dashing Annelidae!

TE: Yes, yes, although I did like him…her…?

G: I believe worms are both, Ellie.

TE: Ah, yes, of course, well, I did like The Worm, her…better once The Rabbit gave her the makeover. I do think orange was more her color—Germie!!! You keep getting me off tusk! …no, not tusk, TASK!!! Look what you’re doing to me…your word play is, is…

G: Infectious?? Anyway, nice one, Ellie. A wordsmith in the making! Quite the natural if I do say so myself. And I do.

TE: Well, isn’t that nice Germie, what a nice—ugh. Okay, okay, next question. And stop distracting me. So, how was climbing Mt. Annelid? ###$$%%!!!! I mean, Mount Everest? You did that in the winter of ’15 am I right?

G: Well, it was a trek, I’ll say that, haha, yeah a real hike, haha, one might a-summit was hard a-scent, everyone was sweating, it smelled like a hockey team’s locker room.

TE: A-summit?? A-scent?? For once I wish my ears weren’t quite so sensitive. You do realize I’m the only animal in the Tree Community who could possibly pick up your high frequency voice…Germy 6 beige

G: Yes, thank you Ellie. You are a credit to your massively-eared species. By the way, here’s a picture of me waving from the top. I look splendid.

TE: Why yes you do, Germie, that’s a good look for you. And directly afterwards you sledded down the mountain in a little less than half-an hour (a record might I add), to ring the bells at The Tree’s annual Holiday service for orphaned birdie chicks. So daring, yet kindhearted!Germy 4 beige

G: Why yes I did Ellie, yes I did, thank you for those kind words, that means a lot to me, coming from a distinguished pachyderm. Of course, I could survive a fall of 30,000 ft with my, uh, modest body mass. Although I could end up, depending on prevailing winds, in the Indian Ocean. Anyways, those orphaned chicks are just too gosh darn cute to leave in some empty, at-risk nest. They’re so cute in fact that I’d say they’re a dead (bell) ringer for you Ellie!

TE: By the way, what was the holiday?

G: It’s the celebration of the first fresh cow pie of the season. Quite the event. It starts with a line dance in the –

TE: Yes, quite the event, I’m sure, thank you Germie. And I’m flattered that you would compare me with orphaned chicks. But we all know that I look nothing like a small cute fluffy bird…I don’t even think I would want that, but your intentions were good. Say, you kind of look like one in this picture don’t you?

G: Why? Just because I have a banana peel on my Germy 2 beigehead? And it’s yellow? And slightly slimey after a few days in the heat? Well….Yeah, I guess you’re right. I do look cute! Look at me wave at the camera.

TE: I thought you were shaking your fist. And who could blame you? Now you must admit, Germie, the girl found a banana your size. But cute? It looks like you’re about to pop like a fresh blueberry under all of that strain!

G: Now Ellie, be kind, I practiced that pose for hours! And might I add, let’s not forget who’s at the top of this totem…the largest most dense land mammal known to animal-kind, that’s whom.

Germy 5 beigeTE: HEHEM!!! Yes quite. Largest land mammal. Mmmmhmmm. Well, it’s not our—their fault that they were born into large land mammal families. But how many of them have that kind of balance? And anyways, don’t you know that it’s not polite to speak about a lady’s weight?

G: Hey Ellie, you’re the one doin’ all the speaking. I left it as more of a “gray” area… Hey, gray! Kinda like you Ellie! Yeah, gray kinda like you.

TE: Oh stop that. Tell me…tell me about this picture then.

G: Oh, that’s me playin’ my harmonica in Horton Hears a Who—I was a Whoville extra.

TE: I love that movie! My second favorite! So you’re the one playing the harmonica! Then . . . I Germy 3 beigeguess . . . “harm” your “moniker”? Haha! It’s your harmoniker!


TE: Well folks, Germie is speechless. And Ellie is on a bun!

G: You mean on a roll.

TE: Why yes I was! The honor roll in Grayed School, as a matter of fact! Bye folks! Say Germie, what do you call those big green things with the wheels and rollers and the big cannon on top that spins around?

G: Tanks?

Tissue elephant beigeTE: Yes, tanks to yoo hoo, too!  …Ah…Ah….ACHOOOO!

G: oops…here’s a tissue Ellie.

TE: Ugh. You’re the worst… Buy forks!

The Girl: An Elephant Interview

Interview by the elephant

girl prof pic

THE ELEPHANT: Welcome everyone, we’re here with the girl, in a location somewhere between The Tree and The Town, in the great outdoors.

THE GIRL: Did you disguise my voice? I want a really low register, like the way a brontosaurus would sound.

TE: This interview isn’t being recorded. Why do you want to disguise your voice?

TG: Ha! You should talk—show me one page in the book where I can see your face!

TE: Page 14.

TG: Which page is that?

TE: The one with the lost cow at the bottom. I’m not sure what happened with the page numbers.

TG: That page?? That’s the back of your head, from about a mile away!

TE: All right, next question. What’s your name?

Elephant in treeTG: Nobody gave me a name. Isn’t that so typical? All plot, no character development. Well I guess you don’t get to pick your author, do you? But I’d like to be called…Mangosteena.

TE: That’s not a proper name!

TG: Well what’s your name?

TE: Elephant.

TG: That’s not your name, that’s your species!

TE: No my species name is Loxodonta africana.

TG: That’s Latin! And with ‘africana’ in your name, you’re not from the North Pole.

TE: (sigh)

TG: So anyway we at least know where you’re from now. And you’re a long way from home, aren’t you?

TE: All right! I’ll ask the questions here.

TG: So how did you get here?

TE: I had to leave Africa in a hurry. I stomped a poachers’ camp when they were all out tracking my cousin. I had friends in the city and they smuggled me off the continent in a suitcase.

TG: A suitcase?? Musta been a big trunk!

TE: Yeah, who can resist a bad pun, eh Mangosteena? Anyway, I was smaller back then—hey! I’m asking the questions, remember?

TG: You’re the one who’s s’posed to have a good memory . . .

TE: So why’d you do it?Mangosteen

TG: Do what?

TE: Climb that tree.

TG: ’twas the mangosteen.

TE: Yes, but all the other fruit on the way, you filled up your pockets…

TG: For later! How many times do you find a tree with so applemany fruits??

Girl climbTE: Where did you learn how to climb so well?

TG: I can’t remember. I can’t remember much really before The Tree. But I did watch lots of documentaries about monkeys and apes.

pg 7

TE: I see. What about changing sizes and stretching your arms?

TG: Can’t everybody do that? You yourself said you were smuggled out of Africa in a suitcase. And kudos to that illustrator for loosening the straps on that straight jacket the author put me into.Girl parrot big

TE: The ferret claimed in his interview that he used to be the house pet of a girl who had a stuffed snake named Annie-the-Conda.Girl parrot small

TG: Never heard of it.

TE: Page 7 … oh, page monkey.

Annie the condaTG: Oh, that Annie-the-Conda! Well yes, I had a stuffed snake. But I never had a ferret, especially not one that wore a hat and talked funny.Ferret funny talk n hat

Ferret: Hey, yawl aren’t talkin’ about me, iz you? I can’t tell for sure cuz you talk funny.

TE: McGarrett the Ferret, ladies and gentlemen. Now let’s talk about the banana peel hats.

TG: Yes, let’s!

TE: What gave you the idea?

parrot complainTG: Why the Parrot, of course! Don’t you remember—‘eat a carrot, make a hat and wear it, break a sandal repair it?’

Well I didn’t see any carrots, and I wasn’t falling for the rabbit’s worm-painted-orange-with-some-sort-of-viking wormgreen-viking-helmet routine. I wasn’t wearing sandals—at least not on that page—so the only thing left was the banana! And, let’s face it. Germie needed some color. The monkey needed a style lesson.

banana hat monkeyTE: Why didn’t you wear one?

TG: Who me? I did, briefly, got carried away in the moment. Then I realized that leaving banana peels all over the tree I was climbing probably wasn’t the smartest thing tip toe mushroomI’d ever done.

TE: What was the smartest thing you’ve ever done?

TG: Dropping the watermelon.

TE: I’m not sure you’d get the ants to agree with you.

TG: It’s good not to be an ant, isn’t it Ellie?

TE: Back to the ferret. You really never saw him before in your life?

TG: Well, okay. I confess. He was my pet. His name was McGarrett. And one day, he escaped through an open window of the house. Next morning I woke early, and I used my tracking skills, and followed him to The Tree. Then I got distracted by all those fruits.

ferret lectureTE: But if that’s true, why didn’t you say anything when he was lecturing you about wasting fruit?

TG: No wait, that’s not how it happened. I sent McGarrett out into the forest to find me a fruit tree. Yeah, that’s how it happened. And then he came back, it took me a while to understand where it was, you know how bees can go back to the hive and do an intricate dance and the other bees, even though it looks like they’re not even paying attention, they’re just tending to their honey and serving at the pleasure of the queen, well they seem to know from that dance instinctively and exactly where the pollen and nectar are, and then start their own line dancing? Well, ferrets don’t do that.

TE: (Getting excited, on the verge of a hard-hitting investigative story) And then peachyou came out to the forest, located the tree, and identified all of the fruits you planned to take, right??

TG: No. I made that story up. But maybe I’ll invite the ferret for dinner some  time!

TE: Straw.

TG: Straw?

TE: Prepare lots of straw for dinner.

cherryTG: He hates straw! Last time he invited me over I had cherry cobbler!

TE: What?? (discouraged) I don’t even know what to ask you anymore. You are a tough nut to crack.

TG: Tell me about your escape from Africa.plums

TE: Well, I had to leave, you understand. To pursue my dream of becoming an investigative journalist. Then one day I came upon The Tree, and applied for a job as a junior reporter at The Daily Arbor.

TG: How did that go?

lemonTE: Well at first, they put me on the stories around the base of the tree, those crazy buttress roots, understory, things like that. It wasn’t easy for an elephant to be accepted by ant colonies, worms, burrowing critters and the like. There were trust issues. After all, one misstep and I could be wind up being accused of mass murder. But I watched the monkey, studied his movements, and I learned how to use my trunk to swing through the trees. Soon I was getting stories in the canopy—birds, squirrels, bats. It was a good life. I loved my work. And then one day, you came along. Story of the century.

TG: You mean . . . you wrote the story??

Elephant catch girl beigeTE: You think that branch just happened to appear underneath your flailing legs?? You know, most of the other cast members have offered me something to eat.

TG: Really? Why? You mean like . . . . straw?

TE: No, like nuts, lots of nuts. Why? Simple gesture, I suppose. Hospitality.

TG: Hmmmm (both of them are sneaking glances at the partially eaten partially eaten mangosteenmangosteen on a stump near where the girl is sitting). Here (humming, reaching in her pocket). How ‘bout some plum puree or a giant mango seed?

TE: No thanks (the elephant’s trunk twitching, as if poised to make a reach for the mangosteen, but too late as the girl’s arm stretched around a tree and grabbed it). (Sigh) Thank you for your time, Girl.

TG: You’re welcome, Elephant. Why is one of your toenails blue?

TE: I bruised it playing soccer. That’s how I got a pedicure from the monkey.

TG: Yes, the monkey has many talents. What position do you play on the soccer team?

TE: Stomper.

TG: What does a stomper do?coconut

TE: Mostly I sit at the end of the bench. But every time I sit down, the rest of the players fly over my head screaming. I don’t understand that game . . .

TG: Oh, look at the time! Gotta go repair my sandals! Good bye Ellie! Thanks for sharing your story!

TE: Good bye Mangosteena. You do a good interview. Hey, wait a minute! I’m the interviewer! How did you do that?

TG: Bye!

TE: Dang.