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THE ANT AND THE ELEPHANT***

         
 

"He (the elephant) was enormously pleased with himself after all the good deeds he had done that day. 'Everyone has his troubles.' He chuckled. 'Everyone but big me. I'll never get into a fix where I need help. That is one thing for sure.' The elephant didn't suspect..."

This story gave Bill Peet the opportunity to include many kinds of African animals which he loved to draw."In my book 'The Ant and the Elephant' the story begins with an ant crawling up a blade of grass for a view of the river.

COVER SKETCH

PRELIMINARY SKETCHES FOR ROUGH DRAFT OF THE ANT AND THE ELEPHANT

EARLY STORY IDEA
A sudden whiff of breeze sends him flying off into the water and to save himself he climbs out onto a snag - but he is stranded in the middle of the swiftly flowing river. Elephant finally saves him. The way this fable works the ant must finally rescue the elephant. A problem which stopped me for years, and I went on to other stories before I came back to it."

His first ending had the ant stinging the elephant who then jumped out of the ravine. Bill was not happy with this ending and continued to look for another.

Other books which include Bill's favorite animal, the elephant, include Ella, Encore for Eleanor and Hubert's Hair-Raising Adventure.

EARLY STORY IDEA

 

Bill Peet once started work on a story about a lion and a mouse, and then realized he was just re-telling an Aesop's Fable. Not wanting to copy another's story, he immediately scrapped the idea. The Ant and the Elephant story is very similar to an Aesop's Fable called The Ant and the Dove. Either my father did not remember that he had read this story, or he may have come up with the idea on his own. My father was a voracious reader, and he did have a copy of Aesop's fables on his book shelf. I'm sure he couldn't remember every short story he had read over the years.
 
 
Copyright 1972 by William Peet, Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston
 
 
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