Too Little

Elephants are big, but Teensy was small. She was the smallest of them all.

Teensy tried everything she could think of to help herself grow. She stretched. She ate a lot. Nothing seemed to work.

One day was extra rough. Teensy wanted to go swimming in the lake. But Teensy’s mother said she was too little to swim by herself.

“Little, little, little …,” Teensy muttered.

Later, Teensy went with the herd to have lunch. They stopped in a small clearing and began to munch on the leaves of some bright green trees. Teensy tried and tried, but she couldn’t reach the branches. Not even the low ones.

“I am too little to do ANYTHING!” cried a very frustrated Teensy.

At the end of the day, Teensy was with the rest of the herd watching the sunset. But Teensy couldn’t see very much, even if she stood on her tiptoes — she was stuck in the back.

“Excuse me, excuse me,” said Teensy politely. “I’d like to see more than your knees, if you please.”

But the elephants didn’t hear little Teensy. They were too busy admiring the sunset’s beautiful colors.

“Look, Teensy!” said her aunt. “Isn’t it a lovely sunset? All bright golden yellow.”

“Is it really?” replied Teensy sadly. Yellow was Teensy’s very favorite color.

Teensy sat down and waited patiently for the rest of the herd to finish admiring the sunset. She knew she was too little to wander off by herself, so she sat and imagined what the sunset must look like.

“Oh,I bet it is too pretty for words!” she sighed.

The next day Teensy was very sad. She walked to the middle of a grassy field and sat down with a thud.“Oh, woe is me,” she said.

Suddenly, Teensy heard a tiny voice. “What is woe?” the voice squeaked. Teensy looked down at the grass and saw an itsy, bitsy mouse.

“Woe means sad,” said Teensy. She told the mouse about being too small to reach the tree branches and seeing only elephant knees instead of the sunset. “I’m just too little,” she said.“Why, you’re not little at all,” said the mouse. “You’re really very, very big!”

“Do you think so?” replied Teensy, smiling from ear to ear.

“Yes indeed,” said the mouse, “you are the biggest animal I know!”

Teensy couldn’t stop grinning. Somebody thought she was big! Teensy looked down at her new little friend.

“I’m sorry you’re so small,” she said. “I know how it feels.”

“Don’t be sorry,” said the mouse. “I like being small! I can always fit into cozy corners, and I have lots of secret spaces nobody knows about.”

“Wow,” said Teensy, “so being little CAN be good.”

Teensy and the mouse talked about being big and about being little until they heard their mothers calling for them. Teensy and the mouse agreed to get together and play sometime soon.

Teensy ran happily back to the herd.

“Hello, little one,” said Teensy’s mother. “Are you feeling better?”

“Oh, yes,” replied Teensy brightly. “I am all cheered up.” She snuggled in close to her mother. “Mom, I know I’m a little elephant, but next to some other animals, I’m really big!”

“That’s right,” replied her mother. “And one day, you’ll be as big as all the grown-up elephants.”

Teensy smiled, imagining all of the sunsets she would be able to see with the herd.

“I’ll reach the leaves on the highest branches!” she exclaimed.

Then Teensy sat down and thought for a moment. “Mom,” she said seriously, “it’s good to be little, too, you know.”Teensy’s mother looked down lovingly at her daughter. “You’re quite right, little one,” she said. “Little or big, you should always be proud of who you are.”

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