A young boy was living with his mother, as his parents had divorced. One Sunday, she decided to take him to the zoo for the first time in his life. As they passed the various assortment of animals, she would tell the little boy what they were called and make him repeat it. After the lions, gorillas, giraffes and bears, they came upon the elephant exhibit.
“That’s an elephant”, the mother said.
After the child repeated after her, he asked, “Mommy? What’s that thing hanging down from the elephant?”
The mother replied, “That’s his trunk, sweetheart.”
“No, no”, said the child, “Behind that!”
“Oh, that’s his tail”, she said.
“No, no!” the boy exclaimed. “That thing in the middle!”
The woman was flustered and replied, “Uhhhh, that’s nothing, honey!” And they moved on…..
The next weekend, the boy’s father came to pick him up and the child cried, “Daddy, let’s go to the zoo! I learned all about the animals, and I want to show you what I learned!”
The father agreed, so off to the zoo they went. As they passed each cage, the child would shout out the name of the animal, and the father would praise him for being so smart. Finally, they arrived at the elephant cage, and the boy shouted, “Elephant!”
“Very GOOD”, beamed the father. “I’m proud of you for remembering all these animals!”
The boy asked, “Daddy? What’s that thing hanging down on the elephant?”
The father replied, “That’s his trunk.”
“No!”, the boy moaned, “Behind that!”
“That’s his tail”, the father replied.
“No, no! That thing in the middle!”
The father stammered, “Er…what did your mother say it was?”
“She said it was nothing!”
“Well”, the man said, puffing out his chest. “Your mother’s spoiled!”