The elephant dragged its feet. Since they were made of rubber, this made the task all the more difficult, as she pulled herself by her front legs across the linoleum floor. The intermittent squeals of her back feet dragging, followed by the silence as she readied herself for another pull, created the slow and steady rhythm of her despair. Why had the toymaker failed to provide her with decent appendages? What child wanted to cuddle up with a stuffed animal with hard-soled rubber feet? Why had fate seen fit to give her creator a pragmatic bent which resulted in her skin being an unfortunate motley of neon green velvet and squares of other mismatched fabrics? She was indeed the Frankenstein's monster of stuffed animals - except that there actually WAS a Frankenstein action figure that was decidedly more attractive. Who would want such a disfigured toy - without even matching cloth or textures?

"Here, Elizabeth," said a kindly voice as the room's lights were switched on. "I have a special surprise for you!"

The child squealed with delight, as an older woman with soft brown eyes handed the now inert elephant to the little girl. The elephant's button eyes took in the toddler's appearance, a small girl with a few wisps of light-colored hair, her scalp encircled by a loop of pink fabric with blue flowers. She looked like a porcelain doll - beautiful and fragile with pale translucent skin delicately threaded with tiny blue veins beneath its surface.

The little girl's smile widened with delight as her fingers discovered each new texture, though her eyes continued to stare at nothing. Feeling at last the hard, rubber soles of the elephant's feet, she giggled and laughed at the obnoxious squealing sound they made as she rubbed them on the floor.

Finally the elephant understood the nature of her existence. She gave joy to a child who saw not with her eyes but with her heart.


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ganymeder (joined almost 14 years ago)
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Author Catherine Russell shares her life with her high school sweetheart, their son, and two ferocious puppies in the Wilds of Ohio while writing short stories, editing her novel, and learning more about the craft every day. Her work has been published in Flash Me magazine, Metro Fiction, Beyond Centauri, and the ‘Best of Friday Flash – Volume One‘ and the ‘Best of Friday Flash – Volume Two‘ anthologies.

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The elephant dragged its feet.
Prompt suggested by Galen


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