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  • Writer's pictureAysel K. Basci

Show and Tell




A nine-year-old girl with pink ribbons in her hair is running across the schoolyard. It’s her turn to present the morning’s ‘show and tell,’ but in her haste, she falls down, and the sculpture of an elephant and its calf spills out of her hand and breaks into three pieces. Seeing her precious sculpture broken on the ground, the girl starts crying. The sculpture from her mom’s collection had come all the way from Africa, and the girl had not told her mother she was taking it to show and tell.


Then one of the girl’s teachers approaches her, helps her up, and immediately offers to repair the sculpture. The girl helps the teacher glue the broken elephants back together again. In no time, the elephants look perfect! The girl does a good job at show and tell, but doesn’t tell her mother about the accident. A few months later, when she does, her mother’s reaction surprises her: “Oh, I can always get more of those the next time I am in Zimbabwe.”


It is snowing today. I am sitting cozily in front of the fireplace. I look at the mantle above the hearth, where half a dozen or so elephant sculptures are neatly lined up, some depicting adults with their calves. They all look nice, but one has always been special to me — the one broken ages ago in a schoolyard. I cannot help but wonder, if I look carefully, very carefully, perhaps I will see small fingerprints on it?

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