By OPAL "GRANDMA " HABISCH
My mother and I came to America from Africa. The men put us in a big cage. I hated it. We could not walk, only stay in one place.
They took us in a big truck, a long way before we stopped. We were so thirsty and hungry but nobody gave us a drink or food. My mother felt bad and put her trunk around me. I felt better. (Children, do you know who Be Be is?)
One man came and said, "We'd better give them some water." Another man said, "Ok, but don't feed them. I don't want them to get sick, and we don't know yet how they will take flying."
My mother said, "Oh no, this is awful. I heard about flying from the other families. They didn't get any food for days. They were so tired, weak, and sick that they could hardly walk when they were taken off the airplane." I said, "Oh no, are we going to fly on an airplane?" "Yes, Be Be," mother said. "Oh, I will like that," I said.
I was excited and couldn't wait to go on the plane. Tomorrow, we will be way up in the sky. I will have a lot to tell my friends.
We got to the plane and they put us in a big part of the plane in back with other boxes. I was scared. And then they shut the door. It was very dark. I said, "Mother, I don't like this." "I know, Be Be," she said. "Just stay real close as it will get cold." I crawled real close to her and fell asleep.
I woke up and I said, "Mother, did you sleep?" She said, "No, I can't lay down, the box is too small." I could see she was very tired.
I said, "I want a drink." She said,
"Maybe someone will bring us some water." We waited and waited, and then we landed in America. They took us off the plane. Our big box was falling apart.
The man that wanted us said we won't need the box. "I will put this chain around her neck and the baby will follow he, he said. I thought, "Gee, now I can run and run." But poor mother had to go where the man wanted her to go. I ran behind her.
All at once there were a lot of people around us. I just stood still and pretty soon the children came over to me. They fed me apples. I never had apples before, but I was hungry, so I ate everything they gave me.
I was having a good time. This was fun. All at once, I looked and I couldn't see my mother. I cried and cried but she wasn't anyplace. "Oh my, what will I do without her?" I wondered. Little by little I wandered out on the sidewalk. Everybody came over and petted me. "Gee," I thought, "these people are nice."
All at once I looked in a window and there were lots of apples. I went into the store and took one and ate it. And I saw bananas, so I had some of those, too. There was so much stuff to eat. I was getting full when a man came over to me and said, "Where did you come from?" I just looked at him and cried.
Another man said, "I think I saw a big elephant with a man. Maybe this is her baby. We better call the police." I started to cry again. The man pitied me and said, "We will find your mother." The other man started to laugh and said, "This is the first time you had an elephant shopping in your store." And they both started to laugh.
I wasn't scared any more. The policeman took me to my mother. She was glad to see me and she said, "Where were you?" And I just said, "Shopping."