When the narrator was six, he read in a book that boa constrictors swallow their prey whole. This bit of information tickled his fancy and he drew the first of his drawings.
When he showed his drawing to adults, they thought it was a hat. This really disappointed the narrator. You see, what the narrator had drawn was a boa constrictor that had swallowed an elephant.
To clarify matters for them, the narrator drew the second drawing—the inside of the boa constrictor that had swallowed an elephant.
But the adults advised the narrator to give up drawing altogether. (Shmoop thinks these drawings are pretty fantastic, especially for a six-year-old! But clearly, the adults the narrator knew didn’t share our opinion.)
The narrator goes on to grow up and become a pilot.
Whenever he meets another adult he thinks he might connect with, he shows him or her his old drawing. (Don’t know about you guys, but that’s an icebreaker Shmoop uses all the time.) Sadly, everyone he meets thinks it’s a hat. No one passes his friendship test.