A lot of animals lived at the nearby zoo. Even though each animal had its own run, all the animals knew one another very well. Each night, once the visitors were gone, they talked to one another. They told each other stories about what they’d experienced that day and visited each other. Their human caretakers took good care of them, and the animals were happy and had good lives.
Except for one young elephant, who had recently started pacing among the enclosures, looking sad. The elephant’s name was Edgar. He was beautiful, healthy, and strong, but somehow overall unhappy. He walked around the zoo with his head hanging low and he didn’t want to play. In the evenings, he didn’t speak to the others. His mom often asked him: “What’s going on, Edgar?” At that, he would grow just a tad sadder and say nothing. Until one day, when something took his sadness away.
It was a beautiful afternoon. All the animals were showing off for the zoo visitors. The young elephant was hiding. Edgar the Elephant’s friends decided that they would just try to help him somehow. In the evening, once the visitors had left, they called their friend over: “Edgar, come to us! We need to talk to you. We’re worried about you.”
After some convincing, Edgar came out of his hiding place. “What’s happening?” the animals continued. Edgar took a deep breath and started explaining: “It’s because I think that I don’t know how to do anything and that I’m useless.” “But that’s not true at all, you must know how to do something! Everyone knows how to do something,” his friends consoled him.
“Alright, I’ll try,” Edgar decided. He looked around. Cheetahs! “I’ll try to race you. I’d like to be able to run fast,” Edgar the Elephant said. He went to the starting line and when the race started, the young elephant and the cheetahs took off running. But before the elephant could get up to full speed, the cheetahs were already at the other end of the zoo. “I can’t run fast,” Edgar said sadly.
“I’ll try flying,” he went on with his ideas, watching the eagles circling above his head. Edgar the elephants took up position on the tallest hill he could find in the zoo. He jumped down from it, flapping his ears as hard as he could. He didn’t rise in the air at all. He simply landed on the ground. “I can’t fly either,” the elephant boy said sadly. As hard as he was trying to think of something, he couldn’t see anything he might be good at. Every animal in the zoo was exceptional in some way. Except for him.
He was slowly walking back towards his hiding place when huge wind suddenly rose. It blew in all directions, taking everything it could along with it. It lifted small animals’ houses, tore at bushes, even knocked down a tree. Its trunk fell directly in front of the den of small meerkats and now they couldn’t get out. They were trapped inside their home. It was very dangerous, so the other animals were trying to drag the tree trunk away or lift it somehow. But no one was able to move it.
Until Edgar arrived to the meerkat enclosure. He picked up the tree with his trunk, gathered up all of his strength, and lifted the tree from the ground. Carefully, he carried it far enough to where it wouldn’t endanger anyone else. The meerkats ran out of their den and started thanking the elephant. Meanwhile, the wind had calmed down and all the animals were happy that everything had ended well. One of Edgar’s friends, a deer, leaned over to him and said: “So now do you know what you can do? You are strong and you know how to use your strength the right way. Today, you saved the meerkats.” From then on, Edgar the Elephant wasn’t sad anymore. He knew very well that he was useful and that he knew how to do something. Everyone is exceptional in some way.