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As we all know, elephants never forget. Yes, an elephant’s memory is a thing remarkable. Like a steel trap from which nothing can escape. It is for this reason that one should be very careful when borrowing money from an elephant. It doesn’t matter how many years go by, he’ll never forget so you might as well cough up right away cuz, let me tell you that is not a visit you ever want to get, especially when you have some people over and…

I digress.

The point is that elephants have great memories…except for Peter. Peter, for whatever reason, had the worst memory of any elephant in history. He couldn’t remember anything. He couldn’t remember where he left his things, what he had said to his friends, or whether it was Bill Paxton or Jeff Daniels in that one movie.

But worst of all is he forgot when he made plans with people. Anyone who knew Peter well had, on more than one occasion, known him to show up very late with some pathetic apology or excuse. Most elephants were annoyed by Peter’s chronic lateness (that’s if he remembered to show up at all), but they had come to accept it about him.

But not Susie.

Susie was Peter’s girlfriend and she was getting good and fed up with him standing her up all the time. He didn’t mean to, of course, he simply forgot things, but just the same it was beginning to make Susie feel like she didn’t matter to him at all when nothing could be further from the truth. Finally, after he had missed three dinner dates in a row, she gave it to him straight.

“Tomorrow night is our anniversary. If you aren’t right on time for dinner…we’re through!”

Poor Peter didn’t want to forget this time, so before he went to bed he tied a big red ribbon around his trunk so that when he woke up the next morning he would see it in the mirror and it would remind him of his date.

Short bedtime stories The Forgetful Elephant funny tales for kids

But Peter’s memory was so bad that when he woke up the next morning and looked at himself in the mirror he saw the ribbon and knew that it was there to remind him of something…but, true to form, he couldn’t remember what! Now Peter was panicking because he knew whatever it was he had forgotten this time must be something very important, if he had tied that ribbon on to remind him. So he spent the rest of his day going around to all the places he usually hung out and calling on all the friends he had ever made plans with and asked them if they knew what he was supposed to remember about today. But they all shook their heads and said they had no idea.

Well, the day passed quickly and Peter was beginning to panic. Then he had an idea. “Susie!” he said. “She’s the smartest elephant I ever met. She’s bound to know what I was supposed to remember today.” So he ran straight to see Susie and before he could ask her what he had forgotten, she turned to him and her face lit up.

“You remembered!” Susie cried and she gave Peter the biggest kiss of his elephant life.

So Peter and Susie had a lovely anniversary dinner…though Peter never did remember what that whole ribbon thing was about.


© Templeton Moss 2020

Short bedtime story written by Templeton Moss


Honesty, Empathy, Love

1. Do you think it was okay for Peter to pretend he remembered his anniversary with Susie? Why or why not?

2. Do you know what an anniversary is? Why do you think Susie really wanted Peter to remember their anniversary?

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