By Margo Wayman


"Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. I need a whiff," Omar, the elephant, chanted as he walked through the tall grass, his long trunk dangling down, sniffing the ground. Omar loved to eat peanuts, but they grew under the ground, so he had to sniff them out.


All day long he walked around sniffing the ground and chanting.


Some of the other animals nearby thought Omar looked awfully silly. Sharif, the rhinoceros, started laughing when Omar walked by him. Omar didnt even see Sharif. He was too busy sniffing. Sharif laughed even harder when he heard him chant, "Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. I need a whiff." He dropped his heavy body to the ground and rolled around laughing hard.


Rashid, the giraffe, saw Omar coming. His neck was so long that he could see things that were a long distance away. "What is that silly elephant doing?" he said outloud to himself as he reached for a few leaves from a tree he was standing next to.


"It looks like hes sniffing the ground." Rashid started laughing. The closer Omar got, the harder Rashid laughed. "Silly elephant," he giggled.


When Rashid heard Omar chanting and sniffing, he laughed even harder. His long neck bobbed up and down as he heard, "Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. I need a whiff." Omar didnt even notice Rashid as he was too busy sniffing for peanuts.


Mohammed, the lion cub was playing with his brother, Ashir. They were wrestling about in the bushes when they heard Omar chanting. "Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. I need a whiff." They stopped and sat up, their little cub ears standing straight up in the air.


"What is Omar doing?" Mohammed asked.


"It looks like hes sniffing the ground," Ashir replied. "But whats he singing?" the curious cub wondered.


They ran up closer to Omar and followed him from a safe distance. "He is sniffing the ground. Why do you think hes doing that?" Mohammed asked.


"I dont know," Ashir answered, then pounced on his brother, tugging at the nape of his neck where one day a thick mane would grow. Losing interest in Omar, the two continued their wrestling and fighting games.


Omar hadnt even noticed the two lion cubs. Hed been too busy sniffing for peanuts. As he walked past Fatima, the flamingo, he began to sniff the faintest aroma of peanuts. "Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. I need a whiff," he mumbled.


Fatima stopped preening her feathers and watched Omar. She started chuckling. It wasnt every day that you saw a huge gray elephant walking by sniffing the ground. The more she watched, the more she laughed. She laughed so hard that one of her pink feathers flew up into the air and floated slowly down onto the grass by her long, spindly legs.


Omar didnt even notice Fatima. He was too busy sniffing for the peanuts. He began to get excited. He knew there were peanuts nearby. He could smell them. He began to run. His long ivory tusks jutted out from the side of his face. His trunk-like legs thudded the ground as he ran. His huge flapping ears bounced up and down against his back. Suddenly he stopped. His trunk sniffed the ground over and over again. "Peanuts!" he cried out. He used his sharp tusks to dig the ground up. He tugged the green plant on top and pulled it with his trunk. Soon the roots came free. Attached to them were clusters of peanuts in their shells. "Yes! Peanuts!" he cried with delight.


Omar picked all the peanuts off with his trunk and gobbled them down. They were delicious. He was happy. It didnt matter that Sharif, the rhino had laughed, or that Fatima, the flamingo had laughed, or Rashid, the giraffe, or Mohammed and Ashir, the two lion cubs, had laughed. It didnt matter because he had his peanuts, and they were delicious.



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