Six-year-old girl Nadia is ill, according to Dr. Mikhail Petrovich, “indifference to life.” The only way to cure it is to cheer. But the girl does not want anything and every day becomes weaker.
So she lies whole days and whole nights, quiet, sad. Sometimes she sleeps for half an hour, but in a dream she sees something gray, long, boring, like an autumn rain.
Once she asks for an elephant. Half an hour later, the pope brings her an “expensive beautiful toy” – a gray elephant, who wag his tail and shakes his head. But the girl wants the present, not the toy one. Then the pope goes to the menagerie and begs the German host to let the elephant Tommy back to their home. He talks about his sick daughter, and the owner of the zoo allows you to take the elephant as a guest.
At night, the elephant is led into the house.
In a white blanket, it is important to walk along the very middle of the street, shake his head and then wiggle, then develops the trunk.
To lure him to the second floor, Dad buys pistachio cake. In the morning, Nadia says that the elephant came, is fed and driven to an elephant by a stroller. The girl is not afraid of an elephant, they are drinking tea together: the girl drinks tea, the elephant – sugar water with rolls. Nadia introduces Tommy to the dolls, shows a book with pictures. Friends have lunch together. In the evening, Nadia is not torn off from the elephant, she falls asleep next to him
On this night, Nadia sees in a dream that she married Tommy, and they have many children, small, cheerful elephants. The elephant, who was taken to the menagerie at night, also sees in a dream a sweet, affectionate girl.
In the morning the girl wakes up cheerful, learns that the elephant has left and called her on a visit, and asks to convey that she is already quite well.