Florence the little elephant was taking a stroll through the forest one day, when she stumbled upon an apple tree. Florence was very hungry, and the sight of the apple tree made her stomach growled loudly.
“Oh my, oh my,” said Florence, “I have to get one of those delicious apples to eat!”
Florence stood beneath the apple tree, her eyes searching avidly for a ripe apple, but all she could see were green ones. Still she searched. She wasn’t going to give up. She was very hungry!
Suddenly, she spied something red and juicy among the green apples. It was a nice ripe apple!
Florence decided that she must have that apple, so she tried climbing the tree. Each time Florence attempted to climb the tree, she came sliding down. She was too heavy!
She tried another method. She gathered some rocks and piled them on top of each other in an effort to reach the apple, but she came tumbling down. Rocks and all!
She couldn’t reach it with her trunk either, it was too short.
By now, Florence stomach was protesting quite loudly. She was becoming very hungry, and she was determined to get that apple for lunch.
Florence the elephant sat beneath the tree, contemplating on what to do next, and how she was going to get the apple to eat?
She was so deep in thought that she didn’t see Ralph the squirrel coming up the path.
“Hello there, Florence,” called out Ralph, “What are you up to today?”
“Oh, nothing, Ralph,” replied Florence, “I’m just sitting here enjoying this warm and beautiful day.”
“Oh well, enjoy your day, then.” Said Ralph, and off he went down the path.
Now Florence the little elephant could have asked Ralph the squirrel to pick the apple for her, but because she was too greedy, and wanted the apple for herself, she decided not to ask Ralph to pick the apple for her.
She was still sitting there thinking of a way to reach the apple, when another of her friend came strolling up the path. It was Tammy the rabbit.
“Hello, Florence. Why are you sitting beneath that apple tree looking so down? Are you ill?” questioned Tammy.
“No, no! I’m not ill!” Florence said, shaking her head. “I’m just enjoying this beautiful day.”
“Yes, yes! It’s definitely a beautiful day!” agreed Tammy the rabbit. “Have fun, then.” And off she went down the path.
Florence sighed heavily. She knew she could have asked Tammy to pick the apple for her. Tammy the rabbit was good at climbing trees. But as usual, Florence didn’t want to share the apple.
Florence the elephant sat beneath the tree. She was getting hungrier and hungrier with each passing minute. Every time she glanced up at the ripe apple, her mouth watered and her stomach growled loudly.
Soon, another of her friend, chip the chipmunk came walking up the path.
“Good day Florence. Why are you wasting this beautiful day sitting under this apple tree, when you could find something wonderful and fun to do?” Said chip the chipmunk.
“Oh, don’t worry about me. I’m perfectly fine sitting here,” said Florence. “I’m just relaxing myself and enjoying the tranquility of my surroundings.”
“I see,” shrugged chip the chipmunk, “well, continue to enjoy your tranquil surroundings.” And chip the chipmunk sauntered down the path, whistling as he went.
Florence the elephant could hardly sit still as her hunger pangs became unbearable. She was ever so desperate to get the apple. Once again, the opportunity to get that apple had passed. Chip the chipmunk could have gotten it for her, but Florence was unwilling to share the apple.
Florence the elephant paced back and forth beneath the tree. How am I going to get that apple? She thought. I’m so hungry!
She was about to climb the tree again, when she saw Fred the weasel coming towards her.
“Say—what are you doing there, Florence? Don’t you realize that you’re too heavy to climb that apple tree? Elephants cannot climb trees.” Fred the weasel stood beside Florence, beneath the tree. “Why are you climbing the tree, anyway? “Can’t you see that it’s full of green apples?”
Now Fred the weasel was known throughout the woods as a trickster. He would often trick the animals for enjoyment. He was also cunning and very sly when it comes to getting what he wanted.
Florence the elephant knew of Fred the weasel’s reputation. She didn’t want to tell him about the apple, but she was so hungry, she couldn’t think rationally.
“It’s not full of green apple,” admitted Florence. “There’s a ripe apple up there in the tree. If you climb the tree and pick it for me, I’ll share it with you.” She showed him where the ripe apple was at the top of the tree.
Fred the weasel smiled. “Sure—I’ll pick it for you. Don’t you worry about a thing!”
“Oh, thank you! Thank you so much!” Florence was very happy that Fred the weasel had agreed to pick the apple for her. Now she would be hungry no more.
“Don’t thank me yet,” grin Fred. “Wait until I pick the apple first.” And up the tree went Fred the weasel.
Florence the little elephant waited on Fred the weasel return. Minutes ticked by, and still no sign of Fred. What’s taking him so long? She thought. She was beginning to get nervous, and her doubts about Fred’s honesty were gnawing away inside her.
Maybe he’s having a bit of trouble finding the apple, she thought.
She was starting to get uneasy, when she saw Tammy the rabbit, chip the chipmunk, and Ralph the squirrel, coming towards her.
“I see you’re still here, Florence,” said Tammy the rabbit. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Well—you see,” began Florence, looking quite annoyed. “Earlier, I had spotted a ripe, juicy apple up in the tree. I didn’t want to tell you all about it because I didn’t want to share it with anyone. I tried to climb the tree, but I was too heavy. So I finally asked Fred the weasel to pick it for me. I’ve been waiting for him to appear with the apple but he hasn’t come down as yet!”
The three animals looked at each other, and then they burst out laughing.
“Why Florence, how stupid you are,” laughed Ralph the squirrel. “Don’t you know by now that you shouldn’t trust Fred the weasel? He’s probably up in that tree right now devouring that ripe apple!”
At that moment, Fred the weasel came climbing down the tree. “Thanks for showing me that apple, Florence. It was quite tasty, and very juicy indeed.” And off he went, humming to himself.
“You see how conniving Fred the weasel is?” Said chip the chipmunk. “If you had asked one of us to pick the apple for you, you would have gotten a piece of that apple. But you were too greedy. You were only thinking of yourself, and in the process you trusted the wrong animal.”
“You’re right,” agreed Florence sadly. “I was too selfish. I didn’t want to share the apple. But I promise I won’t be caught by that mean little weasel again”
With that thought in mind, Florence the little elephant and her three friends, all strolled off to enjoy the rest of the day.