Little girl Nadia (6 years old) fell ill, according to Dr. Mikhail Petrovich, “indifference to life.” The only way to cure is to cheer. But the girl does not want anything.
Once she asked for an elephant. Half an hour later, my father brought her an “expensive beautiful toy” – a gray elephant, who waved his tail and shook his head. But the girl said that she wanted this, and this dead one. Then the pope goes to the menagerie and begs the German host to let the elephant Tommy back to their home. The German at first does not understand, but Dad explained everything. Then the owner of the zoo allows you to take an elephant to visit at night and he checks whether it is possible (whether there is a large room, a strong floor, wide doors).
At night, the elephant is led into the house. To get him up the stairs to the second floor, the pope buys a pistachio cake for him. In the morning, Nadia says that the elephant came, fed with soft-boiled eggs and milk and was taken to an elephant on 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 him 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 and sees a dream, as if “she married Tommy, and they have many children, small, cheerful elephants.”
The elephant is being taken away. In the morning the girl wakes up cheerful and, having learned that the elephant has left and invited her to visit, asks to convey that she is already quite well.