“Hose-Nose” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Chandrini C K, Queenmira Internation School, Madurai, India.
Oh no! I hate babysitting, especially a two-year old. Who babysits one-year olds anyway? They just crawl around and break things. I just didn’t want to do it! Too much responsibility!
But my neighbours, The Anderson, promised me $100 per hour. I’ve never even imagined so much money! It turns out I’ll have to babysit.
The next morning, Anderson arrived at my house.
”We’re so sorry for giving you such a big job (which I realised only later). We have to fill a few forms so he can go to the forest.”
“Why would a baby want to go to the forest?” I asked.
“He would” they said. A long, rough, grey hose poked out from behind the Anderson. It wasn’t a hose. It was a nose (or a trunk)! The elephant trotted into my house.
“An elephant?” I Exclaimed.
“We picked him up at Africa. He was unconscious and hurt”, they said.
Thank you for babysitting, we will be back soon before 8pm.
The elephant looked so calm and pretty. But I misjudged him.
After The Anderson were gone, the elephant started to break things. First, the vase. Then a bowl. They all shattered into a hundred pieces.
After a while, I gave him a bath, but I could barely carry him upstairs. He kicked me in the process. Boy that hurt. While taking a shower, the elephant did three things:
1. Didn’t even step into the shower (well, he was too big for it).
2. Showered himself with his trunk.
3. Broke off the shower pipe (along with many other things).
After that, I thought he would fall asleep. But he just disappeared.
Meanwhile, I came up with a name for him.
When I came downstairs, I saw Hose-Nose eating. And beside him, lay a pile of peanut shells. I jumped on him. He didn’t mind. But then he carried me with great effort, then flung me off, three feet high and four feet long.
Then I put him to sleep. I went downstairs and watched some TV. Then I opened the refrigerator door for a snack. It was empty.”NOOOOOO”,I cried. I went upstairs, Hose-Nose wasn’t there.
Suddenly, there was a loud CRASH!
Then a BANG! And a BOOM!
Hose-Nose turned out to be in the basement, where I hid the peanuts. I went downstairs, there he was reaching for peanuts, tripping and crashing to the floor. I picked him up. He was weigh like an aeroplane.
At the same time, the doorbell rang. The Anderson were here. I opened the door and they stared at the mess.
After we scrubbed, mended and fixed everything, Hose-Nose went home. I missed him so much. I got bored and went outside to meet my friends at the playground.
The next day I read the news-paper and was very, very surprised. It read:
Baby elephant on the Loose!
That night, there was a loud thump at the door. I opened it. There was Hose-Nose, all soggy and wet. He pointed to a picture of a jungle on the wall with his trunk.” Oh, I see”, I say.
“Next stop… AFRICA!”