In the beginning Elephant had a very small nose. Elephant was very large, so he needed to eat and drink far more than the other animals. His small nose did not bother him, but he did find it tiring to kneel down to reach his food and water.
One day, after a delicious meal, Elephant wandered down to the river and knelt down to drink the sparkling fresh water. Unbeknown to him, Crocodile was lurking just beneath the surface a short distance away. Crocodile hadn’t eaten for over a week, so he was starving. When he saw Elephant drinking he figured this was a chance for a really good meal. He’d even have some food left over for his pantry…
Silently and stealthily Crocodile swam up to Elephant before lunging out of the water and seizing the startled Elephant on his nose. Shocked, Elephant pulled away, but was unable to free himself from Crocodile’s jaws.
Using his massive strength Crocodile tried to pull Elephant into the water. Unwilling to become Crocodile’s next feast, Elephant dug his feet into the bank and pulled back. Both animals were of similar strength, so this “tug of war” went on for hours. Each time Crocodile pulled Elephant’s small nose grew longer.
By midnight Crocodile was exhausted, and released his grip on Elephant before sinking into the depths to sleep. Elephant rushed off into the bush.
His relief at being free of Crocodile’s grip was short lived when he realised his nose was so long it was hanging down his face all the way to his feet. Embarrassed, Elephant hid in the bush so none of the other animals could see him.
It didn’t take long for Elephant to realise his new nose was far more useful than it had been before Crocodile grabbed it. He learned to raise his trunk to grab the delicious fruit and leaves on the tree branches and he no longer had to kneel for food or drink.
The other elephants saw the benefits of having a long nose, so they took it in turns to visit the river and tease Crocodile so he would try and pull them into the water. Because the elephants always won the tug-of-wars all of them ended up with lovely stretched noses. Crocodile remained hungry…
This is why today all elephants have long trunks rather than a small snout. Crocodiles know that it’s usually a complete waste of time to attack an elephant drinking from the edge of the river.