Ellie the Zoo
by Tracy Helixon
Michael rolled his eyes. “I am not a horse,” he said.
“Of course you are,” neighed Ellie.
“Oh, brother!” grumbled Michael.
“Brother Horse, to be exact,” said Ellie.
Momma asked if they would like eggs for breakfast.
“Horses don’t eat eggs,” said Ellie.
“Hmmm,” said Momma. “Now that is a problem. Let’s see, I have toast, cereal, and pancakes. Will any of those do?”
Ellie had to think about that. She stopped, raised her front hoof, and rested it on her mane. After all, that was how horses thought best.
“Well,” said Ellie, “Horses do not eat any of those things. But unicorns do like pancakes.”
“Very well,” said Momma, just as Ellie’s horn began to grow. “Pancakes it is.”
Ellie Unicorn was quite hungry. She ate four pancakes – with extra syrup, of course, because that is exactly how unicorns like their pancakes.
After breakfast, Momma said it was time to buy groceries. Ellie Unicorn pranced to the car and clip-clopped into her seat. There was just one small problem. Her horn almost poked a hole through the roof. She leaned down.
Michael Unicorn sat up straight in his seat. “Be careful!” warned Ellie. “Your horn will poke a hole through the roof!”
“Oh, brother!” said Michael.
“Brother Unicorn, to be exact,” said Ellie. But Michael refused to move.
Ellie Unicorn had to think fast, before Brother Unicorn ruined the car with his horn. She leaned forward and rested her horn gently against the seat in front of her. After all, that was how unicorns thought best.
“Well,” she said, “Unicorns cannot ride in a car, but monkeys can.”
“Buckle up, my little monkeys,” said Momma, just as Ellie’s horn began to disappear.
At the store, Ellie Monkey swung through the aisles. “Ooh Ohh Eee Eee,” she chattered, pointing to the bananas. Momma Monkey smiled and scooped some bananas into the cart.
Michael rolled his eyes again. “Oh, brother!” he said.
“Brother Monkey, to be exact,” said Ellie.
Back at home, Ellie Monkey spent the rest of the day swinging through a jungle that Brother Monkey called the play room. Poor, Brother Monkey. Always so confused!
Before long, it was time to get ready for bed. Momma ran water in the bathtub. There was only one problem. Monkeys do not take baths.
Ellie Monkey had to think fast. She put one hand on her head, then reached down to scratch her belly. After all, that was how monkeys thought best.
“Well,” she said, “Monkeys may not take baths, but elephants do!”
And just as Momma set out a towel, Ellie’s trunk began to grow. She tromped into the bathtub and turned her tusks toward Momma. “If you want to be the Momma Elephant,” explained Ellie, “you have to wash your baby with your trunk.”
“Of course,” trumpeted Momma, swinging her trunk across the tub. Just then, Michael walked by.
“What are you doing with your arm?” he asked.
“It’s not an arm,” said Momma. “It’s a trunk. I am washing my baby elephant.”
“Oh, brother!” said Michael.
“Brother Elephant, to be exact,” trumpeted Ellie.
Just before bed, Momma made a bedtime snack–biscuits topped with honey. As Ellie and Michael smelled the biscuits baking, their mouths watered and their tummies grumbled. It was their most favorite snack. There was just one problem. Honey was not at all good for elephants. It would stick to their tusks.
Ellie Elephant had to think fast. She picked up a ball and swung it back and forth in her trunk. After all, that was how elephants thought best.
“Elephants cannot eat honey,” said Ellie, “but bears can.” And just like that, her trunk began to disappear.
“That’s exactly right,” growled Momma Bear, using her paws to pull the biscuits out of the oven. “In fact, these biscuits are for bears only. Are there any hungry bears in this house?”
“Me!” roared Ellie Bear.
Michael stared at the biscuits. His tummy grumbled. His mouth watered. Finally, he let out a tiny growl. “Me too, I guess,” he said. Ellie Bear smiled.
As the yummy biscuit melted in his mouth, Michael Bear couldn’t help smiling back – just a little.
Soon, only one biscuit was left on the plate. Momma asked who wanted it. Before Ellie could let out a sound, Michael claimed it!
“Oh, brother!” growled Ellie.
“Brother Bear, to be exact,” Michael said with a smile.
And as Brother Bear split the biscuit in half, Ellie stood and stretched a paw around him. After all, that was how bears hugged best.
1. What kind of animal was Ellie at first?
2. What animals did Ellie say ride well in cars?
3. How did Momma wash her baby elephant?
4. What was Ellie and Michael’s favorite snack?
5. Who claimed the last snack on the plate?