A charming story about friendship and acceptance.
A lion finds a baby elephant, cold and alone outside the door of his castle. The lion takes in the elephant and they become friends. They play games (mostly what the lion wants) and the small elephant sings for the lion, songs that his mother taught him. The lion tells the elephant many stories of his adventurous life, his travels, the animals he fought, his many grand possessions and, most especially, his throne and crown. For, he is the king. "You big and me small" becomes their secret couplet of affection.
But soon the elephant outgrows the lion, as an elephant will. The lion is unhappy. He no longer feels like the king, he is no longer bigger. The elephant goes on his knees so the lion can ride on his back. Still the lion feels small. The elephant sings to the lion that even though he is the smaller, he will always be the greater, for he is a lion. Still it is not enough for the lion. In a sour mood, he sends the elephant away.
Time passes. One day, the elephant is riding through town in a taxi when he sees someone on a sidewalk, draped in a blanket. It is the lion, cold and alone. "Good morning majesty! Can I help you?" "Majesty?" asks the lion, astonished. "I recognize you! You are the little elephant that I brought in and then drove out of my house! I am big and you are small!" "You big and me small!" replies the elephant. They throw themselves into each other's arms. "What has happened to you?" asks the elephant. "Oh," said the lion. "I have not been a king for a long time. I was chased away. I was too proud!" The elephant reassures the king that while he may not have a crown, he will always be great, he will always be big. "You are always the king!" And this time it is the elephant that helps the lion.
GrÃ©goire Solotareff is a sculptor and the author of more than 150 children's books in French. Since 2015, he has been a weekly contributor to the Huffington Post. He lives in France.