Thursday, June 12, 2008

Elephant Clothes

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Forest Mayor who lived in a tree house in the forest with his sister Rooster and his parents.

The roof of the tree house was made of leaves and Forest Mayor’s bed was made of flowers.

Forest Mayor’s best friend was an elephant named Old Mr. Big Ears.

Forest Mayor and Mr. Big ears went on many adventures together.

One day, Old Mr. Big Ears told Forest Mayor that he needed to go and buy some clothes.

“That’s silly,” said Forest Mayor. “You don’t wear clothes!”

“Many elephants DO wear clothes,” insisted Mr. Big Ears. “Come on,” he said. “I’ll show you.”

They set off walking out of the forest.

When they reached the edge of the forest they hitch hiked to the airport.

At the airport, Old Mr. Big Ears bought tickets for the two of them to take a long, long plane ride.

“Where are we going?” asked Forest Mayor?

“We’re going to India, where they sell elephant clothes!” Mr. Big Ears said.

The plane ride was very long and Forest Mayor was uncomfortable because Mr. Big Ears took up too much room in the aisle and Forest Mayor was squished in his seat.

Finally, the plane wheels came down and the plane landed.

When they got out of the airport, Mr. Big Ears and Forest Mayor hailed a taxi cab and asked the driver to take them downtown to the elephant clothing store.

The cab driver was not a nice man.

He took one look at Old Mr. Big Ears and decided he would sell him away to the circus to make a lot of money.

He drove Forest Mayor and Mr. Big Ears to the circus grounds, talked to the head of the circus, told Forest Mayor and Mr. Big Ears to get out and then he drove away leaving them there.

Before Mr. Big Ears or Forest Mayor knew what was happening, circus men had grabbed Old Mr. Big Ears, chained his legs and locked him up in a cage.

“Scram kid!” They said to Forest Mayor. “Get out of here!”

“Help me, Forest Mayor!” cried Mr. Big Ears.

Forest Mayor didn’t know what to do. He was alone in a strange country. How would he get help for Mr. Big Ears? Who could help him?

Forest Mayor found a phone booth and made an extra long distance phone call to his Grandma Seattle.

He explained what had happened and asked for her advice.

Grandma Seattle told Forest Mayor to make sure he wore the right outfit. “Find something that makes you look like a local,” she said. “You’ll want to fit in and not look suspicious when dealing with circus people,” she said.

Forest Mayor went to the nearest clothing store and bought an outfit that made him blend in with the local people.

Next he called Grandma New York to ask her for her advice.

“Make sure you read all the good books on the subject,” she told him.

“You can learn everything you need to know from good books – and even if you can’t – at least you have a good book to read while you’re waiting for things to work out,” she said.

Forest Mayor went to the local library and checked out a few good books on rescuing friendly elephants from mean circus men.

Next Forest Mayor called Pop to ask him for his advice.

“Make a lot of silly faces,” Pop said. If you make people laugh, they will enjoy your company and want to be your friend. If they are your friends, they will help you.

So Forest Mayor walked around the streets of India making very silly faces.

Next, Forest Mayor called Uncle Joe to ask for his advice.

Uncle Joe suggested that Forest Mayor write a threatening letter to the circus men. “Be sure to use proper grammar!” Uncle Joe insisted. “There’s nothing worse than the misuse of grammar!”

Forest Mayor wrote a threatening letter to the circus men.

Dear Circus Men:
Free Old Mr. Big Ears…or else!
Forest Mayor

[He wasn’t sure if it was grammatically correct or not.]

Nothing happened, so Forest Mayor called Aunt Sheila to ask her advice.

“First of all,” she said, “never listen to your Uncle Joe!”

“Secondly, whatever you do, don’t be grumpy. You know the rule… NO GRUMPS ALLOWED!”

Aunt Sheila is silly, but Forest Mayor tried his hardest not to be grumpy.

Next Forest Mayor called Uncle Jim to ask his advice.

“Lie down on the sofa, watch a football game, eat some chips and think it over,” he said. “All good ideas come to those who relax and watch sporting events.”

There was no football in India so Forest Mayor went to see a cricket match.

Forest Mayor couldn’t make any sense of it.

Next he called Aunt Patricia to ask her advice.

Aunt Patricia started a letter writing campaign with Amnesty International and thousands of letters arrived at the circus from all over the world, but still they did not free Old Mr. Big Ears.

Finally, Forest Mayor called his parents.

Mommy, Daddy and Rooster took the next plane to India.

When they got there they rented a car and drove out to the circus to see what was happening.

While the circus men were distracted talking to Mommy and Daddy, Rooster took the keys to Old Mr. Big Ears cage, unlocked the door and snuck him out.

She stuffed him in the trunk of the car.

“Run!” she yelled.

Forest Mayor, Mommy and Daddy ran to the car. They jumped in and gunned it to the airport.

They hopped on the first plane home.

That night, when they were all back in the tree house, The Mayor’s mommy read him three books, sang him three songs and told him a story about another Mayor who lives in a brick house in Georgia.

After that, The Mayor fell fast asleep.

And as for Old Mr. Big Ears… well, he thinks it is just fine if elephants don’t wear any clothes.


K and I invent "Forest Mayor" goodnight stories at bedtime.
This is the first one to be put in writing.
I hope to get around to turning it into one of those Shutterfly photobooks so
The Mayor can see the pictures.


BOSSY said...

Simply brilliant. Bossy can't wait until the movie premiere.

Jen said...

You're either insane or the most fun mom ever. Or a combination of the two. (and I mean that in the best possible way.)

slouching mom said...

Wow. This is FANTASTIC.

meno said...

I think Old Mr. Big Ears sat next to me on my last flight.

Heather said...

This is great. I hope you DO make it into a book. Then The Mayor can read it to his kids someday.

Jan said...

Sure, do the Shutterfly photobooks, but try for a regular publisher. this a great story, and you format is spot on.

QT said...

This is so great! It could totally be a book on the shelf at B&N. I was transfixed!

PS I can't help but laugh at meno.

PPS - Is everyone in your family hot tamales or WHAT!

Mrs. F said...

You have an incredible talent with the story. I was captivated!

Lara said...

that was completely excellent. :)

Backpacking Dad said...

Uncle Jim had it right. All of life's problems can be solved by spending your day on the couch watching sports.

And letting your wife handle it.

Queen Karana said...

So cute!

cce said...

I just can't even imagine how long all those illustrations took you. I love it. A perfect tale that includes your familial personalities. Bravo.

WILLIAM said...

That was very entertaining

Patience said...

Excellent story!! You could check out something like Blurb ( and print your own book!

Kyla said...

Awesome. BubTar and I used to take turns making up stories for each other. Fun times.

Amanda said...

For all your posts about how you parent, I think this one says the a magic carpet ride.

How is it that no matter what I comment here, somehow it mutates into a perverse double entendre?

Little Monkies said...

Roo brandishing the key was my favorite part!

And, thank goodness Old Mr. Big Ears wasn't subject to any impending "pay your weight" charges on the airlines!

What a treasure that book will be!

baby~amore' said...

this brilliant and so much fun.I loved it.
What a great idea.
Did you use photoshop ?

furiousBall said...

thank god no one tried to tranq dart that elephant causing it to land on anyone during this photo shoot

thank. god.

Black Hockey Jesus said...

Awesome awesome awesome.

Jenifer said...

This is awesome J!

Amy said...

Super super cute!!!

Mama Goose said...

My father used to tell us "Big Mamoo" stories. They revolved around what ever was happeining with all of at at the time. I wish, wish, WISH we had gotten him to write some of them down. They were so wonderful.

Super B's Mom said...

Will you be my Mom? :P

Lisa Milton said...

I hope you do print it for him. What a gift...

(Great fun for us too.)

JoeinVegas said...

But, I feel so sorry for Mr. Big Ears not getting any clothes. Are there no shops in American that sell his size? (from some of the people I see around here I know there are places that make BIG clothes)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the smile this morning. I loved recognizing the pictures and laughing at how they were used. I look forward to seeing Candy, Allen, Kacee, Cindy, Al, Shannon, Nancy, Betty, Colin, Jane, Jack, Ryan and Kim in future stories. Can't wait to see how they are captured. Love Grandma Seattle who feels very very sad that the elephant is deprived of fashionable clothes - a tragedy if ever I heard one. I loved that Roo rescued the elephant with her key.

Rusti said...

LOVED IT!!! You're fantastic storytellers :)

Regina said...

I love it! Wish I could photoshop like you :) I did something like that for my (2-year old) son's friend, about their adventures together. I had so many photos I decided it would be too pricey on shutterfly so I just printed the pics out, bought a spiral bound 4x6 photo album and put the pics in there with the narrative printed out & glued onto construction paper slipped into the opposing page. It was the quick (relatively) and easy (also relative) way to do it. Oh I cut out the extra blank pages in the back and chucked 'em.

Sarah said...

I really love the time you took on this. You really ought to make it into a book because it will be a treasure.

Bungi said...

This is so funny!! And to think OTJ family came to India and did not visit me!! Shocking!

The bit that made me laugh the loudest was the choice of car to rescue Mr. Big Ears... That rocked!

Moobs said...

This is so wonderful it is heartbreaking.

If Mayor ever wants cricket explained I volunteer.

Damselfly said...

I so hope you turn this into a photo book! This story was delicious!

Lisa said...

That is such a fabulous idea. What a cool story. I can see why he's such a big fan of the stories -- Forest Mayor's Big Adventure series.

Crazed Mom said...

You are the most awesome parents! I love this story!!!!!

I especially like the picture of the Mayor thinking!

slackermommy said...

You got serious skillz, girl!

Moondance said...


dmarks said...

One of the pictures made me think of that movie where Bill Murray walked with an elephant, slowly down the street, for 5 hours or so.

Isabel Kallman said...

what an excellent adventure. but, being a know-it-all, i suggest using Blurb to publish your stories.


catnip said...

Adorable! But it must have taken you forever to do it.

carrie said...

Best bedtime story ever.

And the fact that the entire family is represented makes it even better, what a treat!

Kelley said...

You are mad.

And awesome.

Gingers Mom said...

What an awesome story! I love how creative you are!

moosh in indy. said...

Can the forest Mayor become Hoosier Mayor and come rescue me from Indiana?

Amy said...

I love it!
(The part where we see the Mayor in his chosen outfit to blend with the locals made me spit my gluten-free dairy-free organic peanut butter covered waffle all over my new iMac keyboard...oops.)

Emily said...


(Uncle Joe is right about the grammar, of course.)

That girl said...

Oh how sweet.

Becky said...

Oh I loved that!!!

Melody said...

Incredible story! Love the pictures. Wishing I had one tenth that much talkent with photographs!

Rachel said...

Fantastico! You are good, but we already knew that :).

I just read your story to my 4 year-old son. Now he TOTALLY wants one NOW!

I think your Rooster girl looks most like Uncle Jim and Grandma Seattle.

LOVE you. LOVE your writing.

Hope you have a great day.

WkSocMom said...

That was awesome. I'd totally buy a children's book from you. My kid is wierd, he no longer likes to have his own name in a story.

ImpostorMom said...

I heard about this site and it reminded me of your story and desire to make a real book for The Mayor.