Mombie   by Anna Marie Laforest

     There was a little elephant named Mombie who loved her mother sooo much.  She loved her mother so much she didn’t know where her mother ended and she began.  Mombie and her mother elephant lived in a zoo, and were very happy.


  One day the zoo-keepers took Mombie and her mother on a walk, to see the other animals while the elephant area got cleaned and re-planted.


  On their walk Mombie saw a baby tiger being held and licked by mother tiger.  She saw baby monkeys being groomed by momma monkeys.  She saw little bears rolled up into their mother bears’ great bear hugs.


     “Mommie, why can’t you hug me?”


     “Why, little Mombie, you know I love you and will love you every day until the earth falls apart.”


     “But, mommie, I wish elephants could hug, like the tigers, and monkeys, and bears.”


     Mombie was no longer content after that day.  She tried to burrow into her mother, but her legs and feet were so wide, it seemed like she was trying to push her mother over.


     “Little Mombie,” her mother said, “you know I love you and will love you until the earth falls apart.”


     “But, mommie, I want to feel how it feels to be hugged.”


     Her mother sighed, and went down to the zoo river and thought about this.  Mombie’s momma thought about this all day and all the next day, and while she thought, she stomped her feet.  She stomped her great elephant feet into the river mud.  She saw that her stomping in the muddy water created a river full of bubbles, great soapy mud bubbles, purple and green.  Then she called Mombie to the river.


     “Little Momba,” she said, “did you know our river has magic bubbles?”


     “What are magic bubbles?”


     “They are the bubbles that all the elephant mothers have churned into the river to make elephant children feel hugged.”


     Mombie was excited to hear this.  “How can I find these bubbles


     “They are in the mud.  You must go into the river and rub against the mud.  Then come out of the river.  You will feel hugged.”


     Mombie did what her mother told her to do.  Climp-clomp, she went into the river and mrjub-mrrubb, she rubbed up atainst the riverbank until she had mud all over herself.  When she climbed out, the sun dried the mud, and the mud pressed against her body, and Mombie the elephant did, indeed, feel hugged.


     “The bubbles in the mud are magic, mommie!  I can feel you hugging me!”


     “All your grandmothers and their mothers are hugging you, too, little Mombie.  Just as they hugged me.


     “And when you get tired of being hugged, you can take a big breath and the magic mud will crack and fall off.  Then, tomorrow, you can go back in the river and find more mud bubbles, and get hugged again.”



     And, every day, this is exactly what Mombie did.