Elephant And Piggie: Which One Of Us Will Survive The Pandemic?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

During the first wave of the pandemic in the winter, Mo Willems’s ‘‘Lunch Doodles’’ series, in which the beloved children’s-book author and illustrator led viewers in endearingly no-frills online drawing sessions, was a lifeline to families desperate to exercise their imaginations during lockdown … That Willems, who is 52, was ready to help during a hard, confusing time was no surprise. His two best-selling series of books — one about the odd couple Elephant and Piggie, the other about the mercurial Pigeon — resonate with the hard, confusing time of early childhood.”

New York Times Magazine, 11/13/20

We Are Getting Ice Cream

Elephant Gerald and Piggie walk up to Penguin’s ice cream truck.

Penguin: I’m so glad to see you, Gerald and Piggie! You two are the only customers I’ve had all week.

Elephant: No way! What happened to your other regulars, Pigeon and Squirrel?

Penguin:  Pigeon and Squirrel don’t come by anymore.

Elephant: Wow, they must be taking quarantine seriously. Don’t they know ice cream is essential?!

Piggie: Yes, especially chocolate ice cream.

Elephant: Give us our usual, Penguin. Chocolate sundaes!

Penguin: Ok, I’ll even thrown in some free pints. I have too much ice cream and I don’t want it to go to waste.

Elephant: FREE ice cream?! This is the BEST day of my life!

Piggie: Mine too.

We Are in a Hospital with COVID-19

One week later. Elephant Gerald and Piggie are lying in hospital beds.

Elephant: I can’t believe we are in a hospital with COVID-19!

Piggie: Ugh, don’t remind me.

Elephant: Piggie, my body aches and I feel HOT. I think I am dying! I am going to DIE!

Piggie: Gerald, get a grip. We are in a hospital so we can get better.

Elephant: Pigeon did not get better! He was on a ventilator …

Piggie: Oh, right. He got COVID-19 from driving the bus. Now he’s dead.

Elephant: I don’t want to end up like Pigeon! I don’t want to die!

Piggie: Yeah, me neither.

Elephant: (cries) It’s all my fault. I took you to get ice cream last week and didn’t wear a mask!

Piggie: It’s not your fault they don’t make masks for elephants.

Elephant: All I wanted was ice cream … Now here we are  in a hospital!

Piggie: Well, you’re lucky you’re not the one with heart disease, diabetes, and swine dysentery.

Elephant: (cries harder) You’re right. I’m not the one who’s likely to die. You are!

Piggie: Gerald, that’s enough!

Elephant: I don’t want to lose you, Piggie. You’re my best friend.

Piggie: Thanks, Gerald. You’re my best friend forever. When we get better, we’ll go get ice cream again.

Elephant: That’s a good plan. Hey, wait.

Piggie: What?

Elephant: I wonder if the hospital cafeteria has any ice cream.

Piggie: Hmm, I hope so.

Elephant: (calls help button) Hey, Nurse! Can you bring us some ice cream?

Nurse: Sure, I’ll see what we have.

Nurse enters with ice cream bowls. They taste the ice cream.

Elephant: Not bad. We are in a hospital  with ice cream!

Piggie: I wish we got chocolate instead of strawberry.

Elephant: Yum! I like all flavors … Piggie, you stopped eating. Are you ok?

Piggie: No, I can’t taste anything … and I feel so cold.

Elephant: Oh no, that’s terrible! What can I do, Piggie?

Piggie: Help me. (gasping) My. Chest. Hurts. OWWW!

Elephant: Hang on, Piggie! (hits call button) NURSE! I think Piggie is having a heart attack!

Piggie: I. Am. Going …

Elephant: Don’t go, Piggie! I need you!

Nurse comes in and checks Piggie’s vitals.

Nurse: I’m afraid Piggie is gone.

Nurse sets Piggie’s ice cream aside and pulls sheet over Piggie.

Elephant: NOOOOO!!!!!

Nurse: I’m sorry we couldn’t save her.

Elephant: WAHHHH! Piggie is dead! My best friend is DEAD!

Nurse: I’m sorry. Do you need a moment alone with Piggie?

Elephant: Yes, please.

Nurse: Ok, let me know if you need anything.

Elephant: Oh! Before you go, can you hand me Piggie’s ice cream?

Nurse: You want Piggie’s half-eaten, half-melted ice cream?

Elephant: Yes, please. We never waste ice cream. Besides, Piggie didn’t like strawberry anyway.

Nurse sighs and hands him Piggie’s ice cream.

Elephant: (eats Piggie’s ice cream) Thank you, Piggie. For everything. You’re the best! Mmm.

I am Getting Ice Cream

Three weeks later. Elephant Gerald walks up to Penguin’s ice cream truck.

Penguin: I’ve missed you, Gerald. Glad you’re all better! Ready for your chocolate sundae?

Elephant: Yes, with three scoops of chocolate, please.

Penguin: That’s a lot of ice cream!

Elephant: Yeah. It’s one scoop for me, one scoop in honor of Pigeon, and one scoop in honor of Piggie.

Penguin: Oh, I didn’t know … I’m sorry for your loss, Gerald.

Elephant: Don’t feel bad for me. I am not sad today because I am celebrating the lives of my friends.

Penguin: In that case, I’ll give you two scoops free.

Elephant: Hey, could I have another scoop? My pal Squirrel passed away …

Penguin: Gerald, that’s enough! Squirrel recovered from COVID-19.

Gerald: Oh, well. It was worth a try. Thanks anyway, Penguin!

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