First, the mice:
Then the elephant as the mice perceive him. I put up each piece as each mouse investigates, but here's what he looks like when six of the mice have gone.
Side note: When I tell the story while reading the book, I use the cliff piece you see above. When I just tell the story by myself, I prefer the wall for the body. I feel it's more recognizable, but who knows? Maybe I'm just fooling myself.
After the seventh mouse investigates, he comes back and says "Yes, it's strong like a pillar and wide like a cliff (wall) and long like a rope and moves like a snake....." etc. I replace each piece one at a time with the elephant pieces so the kids can see it coming together. Here he is mid replacement:
And the elephant all put together.
Here are the separate pieces of the elephant. I usually go in this order (to make it easier to replace the pieces and also to keep the elephant not quite so obvious till the end): legs, body, tail, tusk, ear, head. (Of course, if I'm reading the book then I just go with what the book says).
It's served me well just as a fun story, but also for my Preschool Lab on the senses. Only drawback is that you can't repeat this story too often because your kiddos will remember what the mysterious thing actually is and will not hesitate to blurt it out. Spoiler alert, anyone?