LONG, long ago the elephant had no trunk. He had only a bulgy nose, as big as a boot. He could wiggle it from side to side, but couldn’t pick up things with it.
There was a baby elephant called Golu. He, too, had no trunk but only a bulgy nose, as small as a small boot. Golu was full of questions. He asked his tall aunt, the ostrich, “Why don’t you ever fly like other birds?” Then he asked his tall uncle, the giraffe, “What makes your skin so spotty?” He asked his huge uncle, the hippopotamus, “Why are your eyes always so red?” He asked his hairy uncle, the baboon, “Why do melons taste like melons?” The ostrich, the giraffe, the hippopotamus and the baboon had no answers to Golu’s questions. “Golu is a naughty baby,” they said. “He asks such difficult questions.”
"Golu Grows a Nose" is set at a time when elephants did not have trunks. Despite the fact that the narrative is fictional, it serves to pique readers' interest in how elephants acquired their trunks. Because the story is set before elephants had trunks, it is about elephants with bulging nostrils as the size of a boot; unlike trunks, their noses can only move from side to side. Elephants could no longer take up objects with their noses, as they do now with their trunks.
The protagonist of the story "Golu Grows a Nose" is a baby elephant named "Golu." Golu, too, lacked a trunk and had just a large nose as the size of a big boot. Golu was a great storehouse of inquiries. He was so inquisitive that he kept asking questions to all the animals. Below are some of Golu's questions.
He wondered why his tall aunt ostrich was never able to fly like other birds. He questioned uncle Giraffe about the giraffe's spotty skin. Then he asked his uncle, the hippopotamus, why his eyes were always red. He then inquired as to why melons tasted like melons to his hairy uncle baboon.
A baboon is a big African or Asian monkey with a long face that resembles that of a dog.
The ostrich, giraffe, hippopotamus, and baboon all failed to respond to Golu's questions. According to them, Golu was a naughty baby since he often asked the most difficult questions.
Hippopotamus, giraffe, ostrich, and baboon
Meaning of difficult words:
|Wiggle||To move from side to side with small quick movements|
|Spotty||Marked with spots|
|Inquisitive||Showing curiosity in learning things|
|Trunk||Long nose of an elephant|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Supplementary. Golu Grows a Nose – Rudyard Kipling (pp.30-34). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.