A Letter About Blue Elephants
by Alfina, Age 12 , Grade 7, Hawthorne, CALIFORNIA USA
A Letter About Blue Elephants
I am writing this letter to you to explain how all this came to be. Undoubtedly you have heard of a mysterious pandemic of small blue elephants that leave a blue-coloured devastation behind them as they travel around. As you are suspicious of, I am behind all of this. Of course, it was only a simple mistake….
I was working in my laboratory on this fateful evening. My lab is ingeniously located in an underground bunker, so nobody can hear any accidental explosions emanating from its depths. That night, I was trying to clone a wooly mammoth/elephant hybrid from some DNA fragments harvested from Anatarctican glacier ice. After I had completed analyzing and piecing together the DNA fragments with modern African elephant DNA, I placed it carefully into the cloning chamber’s solution. Satisfied with my progress, I climbed the steps out of my lab. The specimen would be ready after school tomorrow.
The next day, when I got home from school, I raced to my underground lab. Powering up the cloning chamber’s inspection monitor, I leaned eagerly forward to observe my project result. A look of shock flitted across my face, and I rubbed my eyes, sure that dust or light refraction was distorting my vision. For there, instead of a cute, furry baby mammoth, there were two electric-blue, tusked, small furry elephants! I looked on in shock and horror. Checking the computer’s experimental data, these monstrosities had been the result of a few misplaced proteins and incorrectly programmed specimen quantities! Suddenly, with a trumpet of challenge, one of the elephants smashed through the chamber’s wall, leaking fluid and spraying broken glass and twisted metal all over the floor!
I scrambled to activate the emergency lab lockdown, which would seal the doors, preventing any unwelcome intruders (or, in this case, creations) from escaping out of the lab. But before I pressed the button, I paused in surprise. As the two elephants wreaked havoc around the room, whatever they touched immediately turned an electric blue, the same color as themselves. As I processed what I had seen, one of the elephants charged at me from across the room, moving surprisingly fast for its size. I leaped to the side, but a tusk ripped the side of my lab coat to shreds. Looking down, I realized that the fabric had turned blue. I also saw that my hand had been grazed, and a small trickle of blood ran down my wrist. But I was not turning blue! It seemed the elephants could not turn humans blue. Perhaps this immunity also spread to animals.
While I pondered this new discovery, the elephants were forcing their way out of the underground lab and into the above world.
“NOOOOOOOOO!!!” I yelled, and dived toward the emergency lockdown control….which had been demolished by the elephants. Running across the room, I raced after them.
In the above world, people were screaming and running around, trying to escape the rampaging elephants’ destruction. I was tempted to join them, but I had to stop the elephants. I looked back at where they had been, and found that they were already a few blocks away, leaving a blue streak of chaos behind them. So much for that. I did notice, though, that all the humans and animals were not blue. Unfortunately, their plants, clothes, and anything else in the wide swath of destruction had turned blue. Turning around, I picked my way back to my lab. I had some rebuilding to do.
When I got back, the cloning chamber, emergency lockdown controls, and a couple other electronics had been demolished and turned blue. Oh, and don’t forget the walls and floor. Fortunately, many other things had been spared. I shook my head. Well, it might have been worse. The elephants could’ve been hot pink. Now THAT would have been a worst nightmare.
A few hours later, I had cleaned up most of the mess. Nothing could be done for the unfortunate color of much of my stuff, which seemed to be irreversible. Nevertheless, the Internet was still up, and I decided to get as much done before the elephants managed to destroy that too. Sitting down at my blue desk, I did a quick search online about blue elephants. What I discovered made my jaw drop.
It seemed that there were HERDS of elephants roaming across the country, destroying and blue-colouring everything in their way. Another, and extremely unpleasant, realization dawned on me. These elephants were asexual, which meant they could reproduce completely on their own. Which meant more elephants, more devastation, and more blue! I buried my face in my hands and moaned. What had I done? I hoped that everyone and everything could manage to hide from the rampaging destruction of these elephants. Including myself.
So, ________, you are probably helping other people, and yourself, escape from this blue elephant pandemic. I wish you luck, and hope that we can somehow get the world out of this mess. And as I told you, it was all an accident.
P.S. The effect of these elephants on the entire world goes far beyond turning things blue. Many animals have nowhere to hide and camouflage from predators, making them easy prey. This effect has thrown the world’s food chain and ecosystem out of its natural balance.
P.P.S. My laboratory’s location is not disclosed in this letter, as some readers may not feel very forgivingly inclined to the discovery of my errors.