The sole surviving pirate from his ship laid listlessly in his row boat, waiting to die. He had been unsuccessful at fishing, having nothing on him or in his small boat with which to catch anything. The sun beat down on him relentlessly, and the poor man had understandably given up all hope when, much to his surprise, a crow landed on the edge of his boat. Presuming the pirate to be dead, the crow bounced his way from the edge of the row boat to a seat and finally right onto the chest of the pirate, anticipating a tasty snack of pirate eyeballs, which just happened to be one of the crow’s favorite meals, a meal he had had several times over the last few days as many of the pirate’s shipmates bodies were strewn about the ocean about where the ship had sunk.
The bird’s mistake in assuming this was just another dead body made him very easy for the pirate to catch, and he did just that, wrapping the bird quickly in the bandana he wore on his head so the bird could not flop and struggle and ultimately get away. The pirate’s great delight in anticipation of his dinner quickly turned to surprise when the bird’s squawks grew gradually to sound like words to the pirate.
“Let me go!” screamed the crow in his harsh cawing voice.
“What?” The pirate, almost faint from hunger, said stupidly.
“Let me go and and…..” The crow looked wildly around. “I’ll give you one of my eggs.”
The pirate thought this was a stupid idea indeed and told the crow as much. “Why would I give up a lovely meal now for one measly egg?” He asked, incredulous.
“Because!” The crow was encouraged by the pirate’s obvious stupidity. “It is not just an ordinary egg. It is an egg that will hatch a wonder that you have never before seen. And it will have the power to rapidly change the circumstances that you find yourself currently in.”
The pirate thought this over, liking the sound of the prospect, even though something in the far back of his mind told him you should never trust a crow, especially one that’s trying not to become someone’s dinner. But pirates are greedy creatures and always on the lookout for treasure. An egg that hatched something he had never seen before and had the power to change one’s circumstance must surely be a treasure. So the pirate agreed and released the crow.
True to his word, the crow left an egg on the bottom of the boat and quickly flew out of reach, cawing and cackling. The pirate was instantly doubtful that he had made the correct choice, in that the egg was rather small and unremarkable looking, and now that the crow was gone, his stomach was quite vocal about letting him know that it was still quite empty. But the pirate watched his little egg and soon enough the little egg started to stir, and then crack, and by and by the egg split apart to reveal a very tiny elephant.
“Huh.” thought the pirate. “The crow was right at least—a miniature elephant hatched from an egg is certainly something that I have never seen before. But I don’t rightly see how it will change my circumstances. If I ate that it twern’t be more than a mouthful.” Not knowing, and not caring to find out exactly how elephants taste, the pirate thought he had better not try it.
“If nothing else, I at least have company now,” thought the pirate.
Just then, a large wave pushed over the side and drenched the tiny elephant. “Oh!” exclaimed the pirate, rushing to pick up the tiny creature so it wouldn’t drown in the water that now collected in the bottom of the boat. “You poor little thing!” he picked it up, but almost dropped it when, in the blink of an eye, the tiny elephant was suddenly the size of his hand.
The pirate blinked again and had to rapidly put the elephant down because it was suddenly the size of a small dog.
“Wah?” the pirate said, trying to get as far back from the elephant as possible as it continued to grow rapidly in front of his eyes. His shock turned to panic as he realized that the elephant was growing so quickly and becoming so heavy, that his little row boat was beginning to sink.
“Get out! Get out!” the pirate screamed at the elephant, trying to push it out of the boat as it became completely submerged, but the elephant just looked at the pirate dumbly.
“Help! Help!” the pirate tried to scream as he too went under the water, not having the know how to swim nor the strength left to flail on the surface, the pirate sank quickly to the bottom of the ocean.
“What a strange way to end” was his last thought.
“What a strange beginning” was the first thought of the now fully grown elephant as he began his long swim to shore.