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I do like the colour blue.
Oh, hello. I'm Shobna.
I'm looking at all the colours in the CBeebies House
and trying to decide which is my favourite.
Do you like one colour more than another? Maybe you like lots.
There are lots of colours in tonight's Bedtime Story.
And there are lots of elephants too.
This story is by David McKee and it's called Elmer.
There once was a herd of elephants.
Elephants young, elephants old, elephants tall,
or fat or thin.
Elephants like this, that or the other.
All different, but all happy.
And all the same colour. All, that is, except Elmer.
Elmer was different.
Elmer was patchwork.
Elmer was yellow and orange and red and pink and purple
and blue and green and black and white.
Elmer was not elephant colour.
It was Elmer who kept the elephants happy.
Sometimes he joked with other elephants,
sometimes they joked with him,
but if there was even a little smile, it was usually Elmer who started it.
One night, Elmer couldn't sleep for thinking.
And the think that he was thinking
was that he was tired of being different.
"Who ever heard of a patchwork elephant?" he thought.
"No wonder they laugh at me."
In the morning, before the others were really awake,
Elmer slipped quietly away unnoticed.
As he walked through the jungle, Elmer met other animals.
They always said, "Good morning, Elmer!"
Each time Elmer smiled and said, "Good morning."
After a long walk, Elmer found what he was looking for,
a large bush - a large bush covered with berries,
a large bush covered with elephant coloured berries.
Elmer caught hold of the bush and shook it so that the berries
fell on the ground.
Once the ground was covered in berries, Elmer lay down
and rolled over and over, this way and that way and back again.
Then he picked up bunches of berries and covered himself with berry juice
until there wasn't a sign of yellow or orange or red or pink
or purple or blue or green or black or white.
When he had finished, Elmer looked like any other elephant.
After that, Elmer set off back to the herd.
On the way, he passed the other animals again.
This time each one said to him, "Good morning, elephant."
And each time, Elmer smiled and said, "Good morning,"
pleased that he wasn't recognised.
When Elmer rejoined the others, they were all standing quietly.
None of them noticed Elmer, as he worked his way into the middle
of the herd. After a while, Elmer felt something was wrong.
But what? He looked around. Same old jungle, same old bright sky,
same old rain cloud that came over from time to time
and lastly, same old elephants.
Elmer looked at them. The elephants were standing absolutely still.
Elmer had never seen them so serious before.
The more he looked at the serious, silent, still standing elephants,
the more he wanted to laugh.
Finally, he could bear it no longer.
He lifted his trunk and at the top of his voice shouted, "Boo!"
The elephants jumped and fell all ways in surprise.
"Oh, my gosh and golly!" they said
and they saw Elmer helpless with laughter.
"Elmer," they said, "it must be Elmer!"
Then the other elephants laughed too, as they had never laughed before.
As they laughed, the rain cloud burst and when the rain fell on Elmer,
his patchwork started to show again.
The elephants still laughed and Elmer was washed back to normal.
"Oh, Elmer," gasped an old elephant.
"You've played some good jokes but this is the biggest laugh of all.
"It didn't take you long to show your true colours!"
"We must celebrate this day every year," said another.
"This will be Elmer's Day.
"All elephants must decorate themselves
"and Elmer will decorate himself elephant colour."
That is exactly what the elephants do.
On one day a year, they decorate themselves and parade.
And on that day, if you happen to see an elephant -
ordinary elephant colour, you'll know it must be Elmer.
And that story was called Elmer.
What kind of pattern would you paint yourself on Elmer's Day?
I think I'd have a butterfly pattern.
Or maybe a patchwork, just like Elmer.
Well, you can dream of lots of colours now,
as it's time for you to go to sleep.
Have colourful dreams and I'll see you soon for another story.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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