If your childhood did not include the tale of The Elephant’s Child on the banks of the great, grey-green, greasy Limpopo river, all set about with fever trees, then it was a deprived one. Kipling’s short story, told to his beloved daughter who always insisted he tell it ‘just so!’ is one of the greatest pieces of short fiction I know.
It is rare to find perfection anywhere in this world. But you do find it in this utterly magical short story, The Elephant’s Child, by Rudyard Kipling. Pitch-perfect, full of evocative and memorable phrases, moving and exciting, and written in language that is ‘just-so’ in every sense, this tale is one of the marvels of literature.