As always, Sandy the elephant and Zoot the dog were the best of pals in the whole wide world and were sitting by the river.
“Them things in the sky,” said Zoot.
“The birds?” Asked Sandy.
“Yup, the birds, do you think they are happy?”
“I guess so,” said Sandy. “Why wouldn’t they be?”
“I wish I could fly,” said Zoot.
Sandy smiled to himself about flying dogs and then remembered that story about flying elephants.
“Why would you want to do a thing like that – flying , it’s dangerous,” said Sandy.
“Not for the birds, it isn’t.”
“Yeh, but they don’t know any better. Flying is all they know.” Sandy was getting worried about Zoot.
“What’s up, Zoot?”
“I’m fed up being a dog, I want to be able to fly.”
“Don’t you think, that one of those birds is looking down at us and saying, I wish I was an elephant or a dog, so that I can stay on the ground – I’m tired of always flying?”
“I can bet you they do. It’s they way we are all made. Wishing to be something or someone else.”
“I do it all the time,” said Zoot. “I’m always wishing I wasn’t a dog.”
“That’s because being a dog is easy for you, you were born a dog, and despite what you wish for, you’ll probably die a dog. Unless you’ve got a hankering to tie a pair of wings on your back; it’s because you’re a dog, you don’t see how special that is.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” said a confused Zoot.
“We’re all made to be something that’s different from everything else. No matter what you say, Zoot, you’re unique.”
“Of course you are, and more importantly you’re my pal. Do you think I would be friends with just anyone?”
“I guess not,” said Zoot, who was a little more pleased.
“Some are made to fly, some are born to dance, some to sing, some to stand and see the stars. All of us, and I mean all of us, are different from the next thing. Even the leaves on the trees are all different.”
“So what are you saying, Sandy?” Asked Zoot.
“That you were born to be a dog, Zoot, my friend. And even if there is a dog kinda like you in the future, he won’t have been born in this time, knowing me, doing the things we do.”
“Like sitting by the river and talking?”
“Exactly. Too many people…”
“And animals,” added Zoot.
“And animals are unhappy with what they’ve got. But if they could only see that what they’ve got is a miracle then they’d stop wishing to be something else. You are what the universe made you. If you spend your days wishing it away, then you’ve turned your back on the universe. Why would anything want to do that?”
“So I should stop wishing I wasn’t a dog and just be happy.”
“You got it.”
“What about being a rich dog then?” Asked Zoot.
Sandy just looked at his buddy and smiled. That’s why he loved Zoot so much.
bobby stevenson 2016