Eggs, Pegs and an Elephant Chapter 2
Posted: 22 February 2015
Word Count: 1237
Summary: Continuing the story of Edward, the elephant, and Pegs, his chicken companion on his journey to find his friend, Pieces of Eight.
Related Works: Eggs, Pegs and an Elephant Chapter 1
The pirate ship, the pier and the sea was soon left behind. Edward and Pegs walked between the hedgerows. Edward felt warm sun on his skin. He heard birds singing in the fields, and everywhere smelt of grass and sweet wild flowers.
He was going to find his first ever friend, Pieces of Eight.
Every so often Pegs stopped to put her head in a hole in the hedge.
“Have you lost something?” asked Edward. He bent his head down, and felt around in a particularly large hole with his trunk.
“Not exactly,” said Pegs. “ I haven’t found it yet, so I can’t lose it.”
“Oh,” said Edward. He pulled his head out to think about this. “What is the it you can’t lose?”
“A very nice soft spot to lay an egg,” said Pegs. “Just in case I do feel like laying one.”
She brought her head out of the hole. “No good. Not enough soft warm leaves,” she said. ”Now, “ She looked around the empty road they had been walking down. “ I don’t remember this way at all.”
“Oh, this is the right way,” said Edward. “Elephants never forget.”
“Clever little elephant,” said Pegs.
“An elephant’s memory is as long as his trunk,” explained Elephant.” As long as his trunk keeps growing his memory keeps growing.”
“And you are still growing, because you still have a long way to grow,” said Pegs. “Not like me. I don’t think I shall grow any more at all.”
Pegs found another hole and poked her head into it. She stood very still for a long time with her head stuck there.
“Have you found the right place?” asked Edward, trying to peer into the hedge. It was filled with Pegs’ head though, and he couldn’t see anything interesting.
She shook her head inside the hedge. “There is something very really odd the other side in the field the other side of the hedge. It is very red and yellow and round and big and it’s floating about.”
Edward wanted to know what the something was. By standing up very straight and close to the hedge he could just see over the top. He made a trumpeting noise. He saw very red and yellow something floating about with a basket underneath. It was tethered in the middle of the field.
“What is is?” he asked.
Pegs crawled right through the hedge to have a better look. “Oh!” she clucked. “It’s a hot air balloon! I’ve always wanted to fly. You can fly in a hot air ballooon.”
“Can I?” said Edward. “What’s it like, flying?”
“Oh, it must be wonderful, flying up high looking down at the ground, feeling the wind in your feathers. Oh, I do so want to fly.”
“I thought birds did fly,” said Edward.
Pegs shook her head. “Chickens should fly. We have wings. But they don’t work for flying. We all want to,” she added. “Other birds fly, bats fly, flies fly, dandelion seeds fly, but chickens only flutter onto perches. Oh, to go up really high and look at things far, very below.”
Edward thought about this. Pegs should have everything she wanted. He made a decision. “Then we shall go up in the balloon. Then you would be flying.” He pushed his head really hard against the hedge until he had made a gap that was nearly Edward-sized. The broken branches scratched at him, but he squeezed himself through to the other side. Then off he gambolled, trumpeting, to the middle of the field where the very red and yellow hot air balloon was tethered.
Pegs came fluttering after him, flapping her wings, and clucking with delight.
They walked round the balloon.
They peered into the basket. There was a blanket in there and nothing else.
Then they looked up at the balloon above. It was much bigger than it had seemed to be from the hedge. The balloon waved about in the breeze making its shadow wobble from side to side. The balloon was tied to hooks in the ground round it.
“Let’s go!” said Edward.
He put his right front leg into the basket – but he couldn’t get any more of himself over the edge.
He took his right leg out and put his left leg in. He still couldn’t get any more of himself in.
So he turned round backwards and put one of back legs in, but no other part of him would go in with it.
“It won’t let me get in,” he said.
“Can you tip the basket to one side with your trunk?” asked Pegs. So Edward tried that, but the balloon pulled the basket back upright.
Pegs fluttered onto the edge of the basket. She sat there looking first inside the basket, then outside, and then up at the balloon. “Try again,” she said.
So Edward did, and he still couldn’t get more than one leg in at a time. He stood back.
“You could go up in the balloon by yourself,” said Edward, not wanting to spoil Pegs’ treat.
“No,” said Pegs, jumping down. “Where you go, I go. I am not going to leave you. I am going to help you find your friend.”
“But I want you to fly,“ said Edward
“Well,” said Pegs, briskly. “I shan’t be able to. No point crying over cracked eggs.” Then she stared ahead of her. “What’s that, over there.” Edward bent his head round. He saw a herd of black and white dappled cows ambling across the field towards them.
The cows came up to them. One spoke.”You really want to go up in that?”
“Yes,” said Edward, “because Pegs want to fly.”
“Don’t hold with flying things.”
“We don’t like flies.”
“Flies get in our faces and make us itchy.”
“We wouldn’t do any of that,” said Pegs. “We would go up up and away, very far away.”
The cows looked at each other. They mooed at each other and the moos sounded much like laughing. Then the first cow said. “Right ladies!” And all together they pushed and shoved forwards and upwards at Edward’s behind until with a “Hey”” Ho” and “Hup!” all his legs swung right into the basket.
“That do you?” mooed the cows.
“Yes, thank you very much,” said Edward politely.
“Very nicely done, thank you,” said Pegs.
The cows started to amble away.
The balloon stayed where it was, with Edward and Pegs in it.
“How does it go up?” asked Edward.
The cows turned back. They mooed to each other and again Edward was sure that they were laughing at a joke of their own. All together they sent up a loud long moo. It sounded like “Humphrey!”
A large bull lumbered over. The cows mooed at him. He grunted, and then kicked the ropes tethering the balloon until they snapped. The balloon shuffled and slipped and soared up into the air. It hung over the field until it caught a breeze and was blown on its way.
Edward and Pegs looked down as it rose higher and higher, tossing the basket about, as it floated across the fields and away over the hills.
Soon the herd of cows were no more than tiny dots below, but Edward could still hear their mooing laughs as clear as if he was back down on the ground.
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