Gabriel arrived to school earlier than usual that morning, and with more energy than most days, even though the night before he had barely slept. He had spent almost the whole night awake thinking about his presentation at school, and that morning he left home rushing, since he couldn’t wait anymore. He had spent days, maybe even weeks, working on his presentation, and now being so close to show it to his classmates he couldn’t contain his excitement.
The first few classes of the day seemed like an eternity to Gabriel, who wanted the day to fly by to get to the last class of the day, where he could do his presentation. Like most kids who are seven years old, hours lasted days when school was boring. And for Gabriel the time that was in the way between him and doing his presentation seemed like months. When he arrived that morning it had been January, and now a few hours later, it was August, and he couldn’t wait any longer.
Finally, during the last class of the day, the teacher asked Gabriel to go up and do his presentation. The theme of the semester was “My best friend”, and all of the kids had to give a presentation about their best friends. Most presentations had been a repetition of the others, where kids spoke about someone else from the class. But Gabriel had prepared something special, so he started. “My best friend is my elephant.” He opened up his presentation, and everyone including the teacher thought he had made a mistake. There were no elephants in town, and none of them had ever seen one.
Gabriel then, completely aware of the surprise of his classmates and instructor, walked to his chair and pulled out of his backpack a carved wood elephant, and said “This is Charles, my best friend.” The carved wood elephant stood on a wooden base with wheels, and carried on top a covered saddle. Gabriel hugged the elephant, as he went on describing him. The teacher, who knew Gabriel was a shy boy, didn’t want to interrupt him and started to think of the best way to tell him he had misunderstood the assignment.
But then it happened, one of the kids said loudly “I’ve never seen an elephant before, you’re so lucky he is your best friend.” And another added, “can I touch him? He’s the most beautiful elephant ever!” Gabriel let everyone meet his best friend, the elephant, and the teacher just smiled, knowing there was nothing new he could teach the kids that day.