Elephant collecting

Once there was a little girl who collected elephants. She kept them in a book, all neatly organised by continent. She wasn’t cruel to them; indeed, every evening she would make a huge stack of sandwiches and carry them upstairs, where she would feed the elephants, page by page, being careful to give each animal its personal favourite filling. In exchange, they would tell her stories of distant lands: the African elephants would speak of their jungles, the Indian elephants of their religions, the American elephants of their ghettos, the European elephants of their bureaucracies, the Asian elephants of their rivers and mountains, and the Australian elephants of strange, athletic bipeds with corks on their hats. The one thing missing in her life was an Antarctic elephant.

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