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The Ride

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Duh-duda-dah! The sound of the trumpet rang through the entire street, announcing the start of a street parade. I rushed out of my apartment building with my grandma close on my heels. I could see the performers coming our way. Ladies in bright silk dresses were dancing to the cheerful music while men in colorful turbans were jauntily beating their drums. In India street parades were exciting events for me since they were often unexpected.
After the human performers came the best part of the parade. Animals. Goats, bulls, and cows were trotting down the street towards us. As the parade continued, the animals grew larger.
Eventually, I spotted a brown camel, and on its back were four children. As I raced toward the camel, another child from my building approached the camel and climbed on. There was no more room for me.
I was extremely disappointed, and I started bawling right in the middle of the street. I stubbornly refused to ride the horses and mules that followed. I wanted only my camel.
Finally, the last animal stopped in front of our building. An elephant. I fell absolutely silent. It had thick, gray, papery skin and large floppy ears. A rich, purple rug covered its back. No children were riding on it.
My grandma asked me if I wanted to ride it. I immediately responded no, but she insisted that I try it since it was unlikely I would ever get another chance.
“Give it a try. It will be fun. See how nice she is?” she said, petting the elephant’s trunk.
Before I knew what was happening, my grandma had spoken to the elephant's owner, and he hoisted me up onto its back.
I took a moment to register what had just happened, and then resumed crying. This time I was crying to get back on the ground.
“I don’t want to ride this elephant! Get me down! Get me down!” I wailed.
My grandma, however, just smiled and waved.
The elephant lurched forward, but I did not fall off. A harness was wrapped tightly around my waist. My grandma seemed so tiny that I felt dizzy and clamped my eyes shut. I rocked back and forth gently as the elephant kept walking.
When I finally had the courage to open my eyes, my grandma had slightly faded in the distance. We were almost at the end of the street. As my heartbeat returned to normal, I began to enjoy the ride. I waved to the people on the street and even petted the elephant's head.
The elephant started to slowly turn around and walked back in the direction of my apartment building. It stopped near the black, iron gate. I was safely deposited onto the ground, and my grandma paid and thanked the elephant's owner.
I sadly watched as the elephant was led back down the street, following the rest of the parade. I waved goodbye to my elephant, which I had named Rose, and couldn’t wait for a time when another parade would begin.



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