BUMPY WAS A BABY BLACK ELEPHANT WHO LIVED IN A TOWN quite near to London. He lived in a little house with his Mother and Father and he used to go to school with the little boys and girls just as though he was one of them.
Early one morning Bumpy awoke to find the sun streaming in at the window, and he had a funny sort of feeling which tells you that there is something special about this day although you can't think what it is. Then Bumpy suddenly realised why he had that feeling -- it was his birthday.
Now you would have thought that it would have made Bumpy very happy to have a birthday, but this was not so. He wasn't exactly miserable, but his father ( an enormous grey elephant) had been out of work for such a long time that he couldn't possible afford to buy any presents for Bumpy or to give him a special treat. --------------
He was lying in bed feeling just a wee bit sorry for himself when he heard his mother trumpeting up the stairs in a very excited voice.
"Bumpy,Bumpy, come down quickly! The postman has left a letter for you!"
A letter for Bumpy--he was thrilled! Letters were rare enough at their house, anyway, but he could hardly believe that when one came it should be for him.-------------
The letter was from Bumpy's schoolmaster.
Never before in Bumpy's life had such a wonderful thing happened! He gobbled up his breakfast so quickly that he gave himself hiccoughs and Mrs. Elephant made him keep quite still and hols his breath while she counted twenty.
At last she let him go and Bumpy rushed out of the house like a thunderbolt. --------He was so determined to get to the funfair as quickly as possible that he didn't stop for anything.
The first person he met was a big fat clown known as Mister Blister, with such a funny painted face, who was holding a large bunch of balloons of different colours.
"How beautiful they are," said Bumpy admiringly. "Do you think I could hold them for just a minute?"
"I expect you could," replied Mister Blister. "But be careful, young feller-me-lad!! These aren't ordinary balloons, you know. They are filled with a special kind of gas." And he tied the strings to Bumpy's trunk.
Then the awful thing happened. Bumpy wasn't as strong as he thought and before you could say "jam tart" he was lifted high into the air, right above the crowd.
He was so intent on watching the crowd below that he did not notice a large flock of birds of all kinds flying towards him.
The birds were very curious when they saw this strange creature flying in the sky.
It had two tail, one at either end of its body, and a lot of coloured balls floating around it. What could it be? So along they came to investigate, and as the came by the balloons, they punctured them with their sharp beaks. "Go away!" wailed Bumpy. " I shall fall!" - and he began to float gradually down towards the fairground. He wondered where he would land and when he noticed a duckpond with ducks swimming on it he became very worried indeed. He knwe he could not swim and he decided that he would much rather have a few nasty bruises than be drowned.
Then Bumpy saw a little train chugging its way along and he had an idea.
He very cleverly arranged things so that he dropped into one of the empty carriages. My! what a relief it was to be safe once more.
"That, of course, is only one story about Bumpy's special holiday. He goes on to have further adventures on the train, and end up in the fairground. The fairground owner makes sure that Bumpy gets home safely and, when he meets Bumpy's father, he realises that he has found what his fairground really needs and he gives Bumpy's father a job."
Val finishes the book with;