A young elementary school student from Idaho wrote a story about an elk who learns a valuable lesson. The young writer was recently interviewed by TucsonExterminating.org and here’s what he had to say:
“I just wrote what came to my mind, it was easy.”
People are talking about it all over the internet, so we thought we’d share it with our readers… Here you go, enjoy:
Once upon a time, somewhere deep in the Rocky Mountains where man has yet to roam, lived a large elk herd. This elk herd had a mighty bull elk as their leader; Sylvester the Great. He was the heart of the herd and his sprawling antlers were as big as a bough off a pine tree. His eyes spoke with power and authority. As the leader, all other animals respected him and remained really reverent whenever he spoke. Every once in a while, Sylvester would venture out into the wilderness, away from the herd. One day as he prepared to leave on one of his usual trips, a small hedgehog called out to him.
“Excuse me Mr. Sylvester, I would warn you to stay away from the river. I can sense a large rainstorm approaching and it could very well lead to the river flooding.”
Sylvester contemplated this statement for a while, remembering that the trail he takes that runs along the river is nearly impossible to deviate; on one side is a steep rocky incline that even the mountain goats can’t pursue, and on the other side, the river. A flash flood would put him in a very dangerous position. But Sylvester was too prideful to take advice from a little hedgehog.
“I am Sylvester the Great, I have no fear, nothing can harm me, I’m too mighty, you hear?”
The little hedgehog looked on tremulously as the elk strutted away. No coaxing could influence such a self-centered beast. Sylvester ventured out into the wilderness and headed down the same trail as usual- along the river. He came upon a thick barrowful of sticks and realized it was the home of a family of beavers. One was out gathering pine needles to cushion the floor to their new home. When the beaver caught sight of the tall elk approaching, he called out to Sylvester.
“Mr. Elk, would you be so kind in helping us by shaking this pine tree with your large antlers so I can gather the needles for our home?”
The prideful elk smirked in derision and replied, “Why should I waste my time helping you?” then continued along his path by the river.
As he continued along the banks, he noticed the sun disappear and it suddenly grow dark around him. Thick storm clouds rolled around him and blanketed the sky. It started to sprinkle, and within a few minutes Sylvester was standing amid a ferocious thunder storm without anywhere to go for protection. He began to hastily make his way down the trail, when something frightened him. Water had begun to seep into the furrows on the trail; the river was rising rapidly. He looked up at the sheer rock wall that towered over him.
It was hopeless; his only option was to run as fast as he could ahead on the trail to reach a place where he could gain higher ground. By now, the trail was fully submerged in water and rising every minute. Sylvester was sprinting as fast as he could when suddenly a tree root grabbed his hoof sending him toppling into the river. He struggled to keep his head above the fast moving current. Sylvester frantically glanced around for anything to grasp on to keep him afloat. He barely made out a large flat piece of wood floating on the opposite side of the river. To his astonishment, it was being languidly paddled by the same beaver and his little family. Sylvester sulkily called out to the beaver.
“Won’t you please help me; I will surely drown for I am getting too weak to stay afloat.”
The beaver hesitated, remembering how this arrogant elk had treated him earlier. Finally, the raft slowly moved towards Sylvester and a long vine was thrown to him. He clenched the vine in his mouth, making it easier to keep his head above the water. When the river widened into a clam spot, the raft, still pulling the elk behind it, pulled out and secured on the banks. Sylvester was relieved to feel ground beneath him as he drug himself out of the water on to dry ground.
“I don’t know how I can ever re-pay you for your kindness after how I treated you.”
The beaver’s response was not at all what the elk expected to hear. “No repaying is necessary. I only ask that you remember to treat others the same way you would want to be treated.”
That day, the elk learned a valuable lesson he would remember for the rest of his life. He returned to his herd a different type of leader. From then on, he was the first to help out anyone in need and is still there today looking out for the animals.
If you’d like to read more of his stories, stay tuned as we will be featuring more on felasa.org soon.