Huffanpuff the Grumpy Old Elephant

I originally posted this short children’s story a couple of months back, but yesterday I was performing at a community festival in Whalle Range as Stephie Teacup and I thought it might be nice to post again!  Eventually I will get round to typing up a few more of my original pieces! Enjoy x

Huffanpuff the grumpy old elephant hadn’t always been grumpy or old or even called Huffanpuff. But it had been such a long time since he had smiled or trumpeted that none of the other elephants could remember his real name.

Huffanpuff used to be the greatest trumpeter in the Elephant trunk band. You see all Elephants turn their trunks into an instrument.  Some have  long trunks that they can stretch into a trombone.  Others have curly trunks perfect for playing the jazz like a saxophone.  Others like Huffanpuff had trumpet trunks, loud and proud and fantastically jolly, and Huffanpuff had once been the loudest, proudest most fantastically jolly trumpeter in the whole band, not that anyone could remember!

Nowadays, Huffanpuff couldn’t find anything to be loud or proud or even slightly jolly about, and because of this, he couldn’t find a single squeaky note i his trumpet trunk!  Now he was quiet and lonely and walked around mumbling-and-a-grumbling, huffing-and-a-puffing, which is why everyone called him Huffanpuff, even Huffanpuff couldn’t remember his own name which made him huff and puff even more!

The other elephants would avoid him as they worried they would catch his misery bug, and they would tell all the elephant calves to leave old Huffanpuff alone.  Which is a shame because Huffanpuff wasn’t some one to be scared of, he was just fed up of being alone.

Huffanpuff missed his family, who had all grown up and moved on. And with no family around it is sometimes hard to remember where you came from, and easy to forget who you are. Huffanpuff had taught all his family everything he knew about being a trumpeter, but when they left, the music left too, and everyone soon forgot about the loudest, proudest, fantastically, jolly trumpet trunk.

Then one day Huffanpuff was mumbling-and-a-grumbling along, minding his own business, when he came across a young elephant practicing his trunk. Louis had no idea what instrument his trunk was, which made it difficult to play.  He’d tried getting it to curl like a saxophone, and stretching it out like a trombone, but all that ever came out was a noise like some one blowing raspberries! He’d take a deep breath, puff up his cheeks, squeeze his eyes together and…nothing!

Huffanpuff watched Louis do this over and over again.

Then he quietly said ‘That’s no way to play the trumpet’

Louis looked up, his cheeks pink, he hadn’t realised he had an audience.

‘Did you say… trumpet?’ Louis had always longed for a trumpet trunk but would never have thought in a million elephant ears, that he had one. Trumpet trunks are loud and proud and fantastically jolly, Louis’ trunk was squeaky, shy and a bit embarrassing to watch.

‘Oh without a doubt, that’s a trumpet you’ve got there, you’re just playing it all wrong!’ mumbled, Huffanpuff, a little croakily, he hadn’t said a sentence as long as that in years!

Oh I wish I could play, I practice everyday. I love the trumpet, especially the way the great Humphrey used to play it, I have ALL of his records…’ Louis was so excited he hadn’t even noticed that this old elephant he babbling away to was Huffanpuff.

‘The great Humphrey?’ Huffanpuff slowly interrupted.

‘Oh yes, you must have heard of Humphrey? He was the greatest!’ But Louis’ excitement soon gave way to defeat when he remembered his own trunk ‘I’ll never be able to play like him!’

‘Well that’s cos you’re doing it all wrong’ Huffanpuff was beginning to find his voice again, and managed to sound quite matter of fact about the subject. ‘You don’t crunch up your face like that, you do it like this!’ Without thinking, or mummbling-or-a-grumbling, Huffanpuff stood up tall and for the first time in as long as anyone could remember, let out a grand old trumpeting tune, and then sneezed from all the dust, his previously forgotten trunk had gathered over the years.

Louis’ mouth fell to the floor. It couldn’t be, could it?

‘Well don’t just stand there! You try!’ that time Huffanpuff almost sounded jolly!

Louis shut his mouth, stood up and to to copy exactly what Huffanpuff had just done, but he scrunched up his trunk and his big elephant ears flopped over his eyes, still it was a big improvement, which was lucky as a few other elephants from the band had begun to gather.

‘This time,’ Huffanpuff kindly offered ‘keep your ears back.’

Once again, Louis stood up right, stuck out his trunk and this time tucked back his ears and this time let out a wonderfully loud, proud and jolly trumpet tune!

It would be difficult to say who was more chuffed with this! Louis or Huffanpuff!

‘That’s it boy! Soon you’ll be a grand trumpeter ‘ and with that Huffanpuff played the loudest, proudest and most fantastically jolly trumpet tune the elephants had heard in a very long time! As he played the whole elephant band came to watch , and as he came to the end they all stomped a round of applause, but none were so excited as Louis! Who wasn’t just stomping but jumping up and down, and yelping …

‘I knew it! I KNEW it! It’s him, you’re Humphrey the great!’

The stomping slowly came to a stop as each elephant heard Louis’ yelp, and right in front of their eyes Huffanpuff the grumpy old elephant transformed, as one by one, they all remembered his real name. Humphrey the Great Elephant Trumpeter.

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