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I saw this image on Sunday in the Telegraph and how could it not remind me of the Just So stories I read as a child. The Elephant's Child was one of my favourites and this photo is really very like the one I remember from the book. From memory I think the Elephant's Chils suffered from (had the benefit of ) 'Satiable Curtiosity and the nose legthening took place on the banks of the great grey green greasy Limpopo river all set about with fever trees.

If there is a problem with copyright the original is here

I enjoyed the book a lot, I think it is still somewhere in the house covered in a thivk paper cover which I decorated by dragging a comb through thick runny paint. I've never been very artistic.

Each story was followed by a short rhyme related to the story. I recall that the satiable curtiosity poem began
"I have six honest serving men
they taught me all I knew
their names are what and why and when
and how and where and who.
I let then rest from nine till five . . . . . "
followed by a homily from Kipling on how children should be seen and not heard, and certainly not heard asking innumerable questions.

Another favourite was "how the camel got his hump". The poem for this began
"The camel's hump is an ugly lump
as well you may see at the zoo"
and had a cure for boredom
"The cure for this ill
is not to sit still
or frowst with a book by the fire
but to take a large hoe
and a shovel also
and dig till you gently perspire."
I'm still a great believer in fresh air and exercise.

I don't to this day understand "The cat that walked alone.

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Tags: child, crouch, curiosity, elephant, end, hornsey, n8

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