How Elephant and Warthog Got Their Tusks


How Elephant and Warthog Got Their Tusks

The Happy Elephant


Elephant and Warthog were Cousins you know.

Long, long ago somewhere in Africa… When the earth and all the people and animals were new… Elephant, you may not know, was related to Warthog since forever. Although they were created very differently, they are cousins. It may surprise you to know that they fed on the same food. Well almost the same food, namely roots, bark and leaves.

Of course, Warthog eats scrub, shrub and grass leaves and Elephant eats grass, bark, roots and tree leaves. Elephant drinks lots of water and makes his food into tree leaf tea. I am sure you must have heard of tea? To get on with the story, pour a cup of tea and join Elephant and Warthog as they have a life changing experience.

Elephant, you probably did not know, could not get to eat the bark or roots of trees long ago. But because of Warthog, he is able to eat them now. Sound strange? Read on and you will see why.

The Happy Warthog


Elephant Seeks out Warthog

Elephant and Warthog have always been closest of friends. The reason for this is Warthog and Elephant were cousins! Yes well, that meant they were family.

Yes, Warthog and Elephant are related and you can see why, by their skin and hair, as well as of course their tusks, naturally. Warthog was munching some bark and roots of a tree a storm had blown down, when Elephant happened to wander by. Meanwhile seeing Warthog using his tusks to loosen and eat the bark and roots, Elephant quietly approached him.

“Warthog, I love bark and roots. Can I eat some bark and roots with you?”

“Certainly you can, but please be careful where you step. Last time we ate together you nearly trod on me.” Reminded Warthog.

Elephant was most embarrassed with himself. But this did not stop him asking Warthog an even bigger favor as well. In fact, a life changing favor indeed. Something he had been dreaming about for a very long time.

You may not know that Warthog had huge tusks and Elephant had small tusks. For this reason Elephant could not get to the bark and roots of the big trees.

Warthog, of course, lived under the trees in the rain and hot sun. He many times wanted to go underground and stay out of the rain and the sun. His best friend Aardvark was always inviting Warthog to stay next door, in a hole he had dug in a dormant anthill. But Warthog’s tusks were too big to get down the hole. So he always went in backwards with his head sticking out. As a result, Warthog’s head always got very wet in the rain and then badly baked in the hot sun.

Now it so happened, that Elephant hoping his dreams would come true, wanted Warthog to trade tusks with him. Since they were related, being cousins and all, he was sure they would fit. With a little adaptation naturally, but fit they would. This Elephant told Warthog.

“Warthog, we are cousins as you know”

“Yes,” said Warthog, suspiciously eyeing his cousin.

“Well I had an idea.” Remarked Elephant excitedly.

“Yes, I’m listening,” said Warthog, even more suspiciously.

Elephant decided not to waste any more time in asking Warthog.

“Can we trade tusks?”

Warthog swallowed hard, jumping up looking cross-eyed at Elephant, who at this point, lay down, wide eyed, excitedly hopeful, grinning and wagging his tail. Well, it’s been a long time… maybe not wagging his tail. Anyway, this time Warthog swallowed even harder.

“They will fit you know, because we are cousins,” reminded Elephant, ever so hopeful Warthog would see it his way and it made perfect sense not to refuse.

“Why do you want my tusks? They are hard to handle and every time I jerk my head up, they make me go cross-eyed and I can’t even go down a hole with them.”

“Exactly,” said Elephant. “I don’t need to go down holes, I need to push down trees, as well as get bark and roots from those trees. So I need big tusks, just like yours. While you Warthog, need smaller tusks, just like mine, so you can go down holes.”

The Happy Aardvark


Aardvark Saves the Day

It was right then that Aardvark wandered by and on hearing the last part of the conversation, could not resist remarking to Warthog, his best friend. Aardvark and Warthog have always been the bestest of friends since forever, until now.

“I would take them if I was you,” remarked Aardvark excitedly. “Then you can go down the holes I have made for you and keep out of the hot sun and the rain.”

Warthog knew his good friend would give him wise counsel and was ever so pleased he had come by at that very moment. With that, Warthog immediately traded tusks with Elephant, who went away as happy as a lark, whistling to himself and swinging his trunk from side to side as he went. Well, maybe not whistling, but blowing something.

So there you have it! And that’s why Elephant can push down trees to eat the bark and roots and it’s all due to his handsome tusks.

Now poor old Warthog had some major adjusting to do. Even after Warthog got his new tusks that fit down the hole perfectly well, he still went down holes backwards. Well, it’s on account of his big old tusks, which never fit down any holes and so all warthog’s descendants still to go down holes backwards to this very day.

So now you know why Warthogs always goes down holes backwards.

And that’s the story of Elephant and Warthog, who lived happily ever after, each with their own new tusks.

The moral of the story?

You may not know all there is to know, even about yourself.

So always be prepared to listen to another’s opinion, about what they think of you.

Others may see you better than you see yourself.

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Meet Our Authors: The Wildmoz team, Cari and Moz, have a lifelong passion for the Bushveld and share adventures and stories about Africa's good things. Wildmoz is Africa - the cradle of life! Travel writing about wildlife, African folklore, wildlife art, Kruger Park and wildlife safari info! Taste life as it is in Africa.
 Posted by on November 13, 2013
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