Story Contest 2019 #1 - Outstanding Stories (Sub-junior) »

Outstanding Story (Sub-junior) - The Stone-chewing Elephant

“The Stone-chewing Elephant” is one of the outstanding stories (sub-junior) of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2019 written by Sreeja Krishnan, Unicent School, Kompally, Secunderabad, Telangana, India.

The Stone-chewing Elephant

In God’s own country, Kerala there are many beautiful temples. One of the popular one is the Lord Shiva’s temple which looks magnificent on the day of the Pooram. Pooram is a temple festival held in different temples across Kerala. People from far and wide come to take part in this colourful festival.

The streets were crowded and bustling with activity. In the temple courtyard a long row of decked-up elephants stood gracefully, ready to go on a procession. Chandru, the oldest and the wisest of them all was popularly known as the “Stone-chewer”. While he was definitely the most majestic of all the other elephants present there, one could not ignore the deep scar on the right of his forehead. His mahout Vijayan was proud of him. He would feed him, bathe him and take very good care of Chandru. Chandru too adored his master. They were best friends. But Vijayan never understood why Chandru chewed a stone and that too always the same one. After finishing his meal, Chandru would never forget to put the stone back into his mouth where it would stay until his next meal. Once, out of curiosity, Vijayan hid Chandru’s stone. Chandru refused to eat or drink anything after that until Vijayan gave him back his precious stone.

The procession began. The crowd cheered loudly as they were watching their most favourite event of the year. Suddenly, Chandru hurled the stone at the crowd and it sure hit its target! A young man came running out of the gathering screaming in pain. His forehead was swollen and bleeding.

The procession came to a halt. The crowd was shocked and scared. The man had recognized Chandru and realized why the “Stone-chewer” had hurt him. This was his chance to speak the truth. He told the people around that he was the reason for that ugly scar on Chandru’s forehead. When he was a kid he had thrown a stone at an elephant for fun and hurt him. This was the same elephant.

The man was extremely ashamed of his mistake and said sorry to Chandru. He promised Chandru that he would always be kind and compassionate towards animals because animals too are the gifts of God.

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