Golu Grows a Nose

Chapter Summary

The story ‘Golu Grows a Nose’ by Rudyard Kipling follows the adventure of a baby elephant named Golu, who was always full of queries. He had no trunk but a big nose in its place suiting his questioning habits. He always questioned the other animals who lived with him.

Like he asked the Ostrich, why did he never fly like the other birds? He also questioned the hippopotamus, why are your eyes always so red? but no one could answer the questions. One day Golu met with a Mynah. He asked him about the things that a crocodile ate. As Mynah did not know the answer, he advised Golu to go to the Limpopo river where he finds out his answer. Finally, he went out to find out his answers.

On the way, he met with a python and asked him the same question. But the python also failed to answer and followed Golu. Finally, Golu met with a crocodile at the bank of the Limpopo river. He became so afraid to see the crocodile but still, he asked what the crocodile ate for dinner. The crocodile wanted to eat Golu, so he called him to come near him and to listen to the answer. As soon as Golu went near him, the crocodile caught his nose to eat. The python watched this matter from afar and to see this he came near Golu and said to tug hard. Then the crocodile and Golu both began to tug each other. In order to help Golu, the python rolled himself to Golu’s belly and used his strength.

Finally, after some time Golu free himself from the crocodile but his nose became 5 feet longer than past. Golu became so upset and did not go back to his home. Then the python realised Golu about the various advantages of the long nose. Finally, Golu understood it and returned home by thanking the python.

Whom did Golu refer to when he asked, “Why don’t you ever fly like other birds?”

Elephants back in the day did not possess any trunk but had a huge nose in its place which was of no apparent use to them. They couldn’t even use it for picking things up and could just wave it sideways. Golu, a baby elephant, with no trunk and a bulgy nose, was always interrogative out of curiosity. He had a tall aunt called the Ostrich whom he once asked why she wasn’t able to fly like that of other birds. She apparently had no answers to his question.

Who was Golu’s uncle Golu with had red eyes?

Golu had a huge uncle called the Hippopotamus. He once asked this uncle as he did to his tall aunt Ostrich out of his general curiosity, what was the apparent reason for his eyes being red all the time. The Hippopotamus like uncle Baboon, another victim of Golu’s random questions had no answer for it. Instead like, Ostrich and Baboon he also said, Golu is a naughty baby. According to them, these were evidently difficult questions to answer.

Advise to Golu to Go to the Limpopo River

Golu in his usual quest of wandering met the mynah bird. She was resting by the bush when Golu approached her to ask a completely random question. He asked her, “What does the crocodile have for dinner?” The mynah bird indifferently, and unlike Golu’s other uncles and aunts, asked him to venture out to the banks of great, grassy Limpopo river and find it for himself. Golu excited in a jubilant way, rushed home and packed hundred sugar canes, fifty dozen bananas and twenty-five melons. He bade goodbye to his family and went on his adventure as he had never met a crocodile face to face before. On his way, he met a Python to whom he asked about the crocodile and the same question he asked the mynah bird as to what it ate.

It was a Real Crocodile

Golu’ unsatisfied with the python’s response moved forward while feeding on the sugar canes, bananas and melons which he took with him. After some days he finally reached the very edge of the great, grassy Limpopo River. He mistakenly thought he saw a log of wood on the riverbank but in reality, it was the crocodile himself, whom Golu was searching for so long. Golu ironically asked the crocodile himself, “Have you ever seen a crocodile?” The crocodile treacherously beguiled Golu to come forward towards the river, and asked him the reasons for his queries. The crocodile then tried to convince Golu that he was the real Crocodile by shedding some crocodile tears, which is generally considered to be a common myth.

Python Helping Golu on the Bank of the River

The Python whom Golu met on his way to the river, came to his rescue when the crocodile started pulling his nose to drag him down to the river so that he could eat him. The Python advised Golu to pull back as hard as he could. It seemed Golu’ was unable to apply full force, so the python coiled himself round Golu’s stomach and they fought together against the Crocodile by pulling back. It resulted in Golu’s nose growing so long that it almost became five feet in length but the good part was that the crocodile released him.

Two things the elephant can do and cannot do with his trunk

Now that Golu’s nose had grown so long, he could easily kill a fly dead with it. He also effortlessly plucked a large bundle of grass. The hindsight on the other hand for having a trunk was that regardless of its width he could neither walk with it nor he could hear with it.


Q1. How was an elephant’s nose a long time ago?

Ans. Long time ago there had no trunks of elephants. Their noses were bulgy and as large as boots. They could wag it from one side to another side but never picked up anything with it.

Q2. Why Golu said goodbye to his family?

Ans. Golu, a baby elephant had so many questions in his mind. Once he asked the Mynah about the things that a crocodile ate for dinner. He could not answer the question and told Golu to move to the Limpopo river. In order to find the answer, Golu said goodbye to his family and went to the Limpopo river.

Q3. What did Golu take when he left his home?

Ans . Golu decided to go to the Limpopo river, so he took various types of food with him. He packed a hundred sugar canes, fifty dozen bananas, and twenty-five melons.

Updated on: 05-Jan-2023


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