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ID
b115
Title
"Elephant's Nest in a Rhubarb Tree."
Genre
Story
Page Count
10
Word Count
1890
Publisher
John O'London's Weekly
Publication Year
1939
Document Types
First-Person Narratives
Topics
Boyhood, Simpletons

A man remembers summer escapades, he six years old and believing various impossible tales told by an older boy, including one about an elephant's nest at his uncle's farm. He recalls his disappointment when he discovered no such nest, and reflects that twenty-five years later his friend has not changed: he earns enough money and bread from a job "that a boy of six could do," gets his hair cut, and walks happily to the countryside to see the elephant's nest. The title is derived from a children's nonsense song that, in some versions, reads "the Elephant is a pretty bird, she flits from bough to bough, she builds her nest in the rhubarb tree, and whistles like a cow." For another story about a simpleton, see "The Idiot." In John O'London's Weekly (April 14, 1939), The Flying Goat (1939), Thirty-One Selected Tales (1947), Elephant's Nest in a Rhubarb Tree & Other Stories (1989).