My long-suffering Elephant (if one can be classed as long-suffering while having the ear of God) has one a “It Made Me Think” Award from The Digitally Lit Youth Choice Awards,  Canada 2022 . Blessed Be! say I.

The Elephant stories were a joy to write, but i really had to stop when The Elephant started asking God questions that the author could not answer,

Here is an interview and a reading from The Elephant Talks To God.

http://www.authorsaloud.com/prose/estey.html

Here is where The Elephant Talks To God can be purchased.

Here is the information about the Digitally Lit Youth Choice Awards

https://www.digitallylit.ca/post/digitally-lit-choice-awards-the-results-are-in

And here are two short sections from The Elephant Talks To God, perhaps more appreciated by youth.

The elephant was a curious pachyderm, and followed his persistent quest with a guileless intensity.

     “More lucky than smart,” said some of the other elephants, as he blundered his way toward another piece of knowledge. They nodded their heads in his direction with the heavy weight of caution, and warned their small ones that too much thought would make them strange.

     “An elephant wades in water,” they would sagely say, “only if the mud hole is wide enough.”

     And the little ones would watch him, as they stood between the legs of their parents, and wish that they could follow.

Here, the Elephant helps in A Death Procession.

The elephant stood patiently, as if he were a rooted tree, counterbalancing the support of the elephant on the other side. There would be little distance to cover now, and soon the dying beast would just stop, and that would be the time to ease the body onto the ground, and wait until all breathing ended.

     “I know you,” said the old, old elephant.

     “Yes.” The elephant was both surprised and glad. “You helped my mother when she was ill. You looked after me a long time. You were a nurse to both of us.”

     “That has been my job with many, many calves.” The dying animal continued to take her slow, precise steps. “And I’ve outlived even some of them.” She breathed with difficulty. “As I’ve outlived my own.” She gulped for air. “So very long ago, it now seems.”

     “Yes,” said the elephant tentatively. He had not been expecting any conversation.

     “But you were different,” she muttered.

     “Well – I …” The elephant was gratified that she would remember him from all the others.

     “You were foolish.” The old elephant snorted, and made a noise which might have been a cracked laugh. “There was no making sense of you. No keeping up to you. I’d tell your mum that I wondered if she was sick because she couldn’t deal with you.”

     “That can’t be true.” The elephant was peeved. ” I never meant for any of — “

     “No. You never meant harm.” The old elephant stopped moving and turned her head. “That’s the way you were even then. You didn’t take the time to let me finish what I was going to tell you.”

     “Sorry,” said the elephant.

     “Yes – that’s familiar.” This time she did manage a distinct grunt of laughter. “Your mum and I both laughed at your antics. And also laughed as the rest of the herd shook their heads in dismay.” The old elephant started walking again. “The things you wanted to do and to see – too much for any elephant. Too much for any life. You never knew your place.”

     “I never found my place,” corrected the elephant.

     “Yes. That’s familiar, too.” She tried to laugh again, but it turned into a coughing fit. “You always had to contradict whatever was said to you.”

     “It always seemed to me,” said the elephant stubbornly, “that I was always told just part of the story.”

     “Most of us only know part of the story. Most of us are content with that.” She slowly lifted her trunk and rubbed it against the elephant’s ear. “But that was never going to satisfy you – with more questions than there are monkeys in the trees – as you went out searching and pestering.”

~ Dale Estey