As the story begins, Calvin is reading his homework book. He says he's never going to be able to memorise his vocabulary words. He then gets an idea. He takes the Transmogrifier out of his closet, climbs inside and activates it.
Downstairs, Mom is preparing dinner. Hearing loud whumping noises, she shouts to Calvin that he sounds like an elephant. Upstairs, it is revealed Calvin is an elephant, as he used the Transmogrifier to become one.
Calvin finishes memorizing his words. Saying to himself that elephants never forget, he goes outside to play. Outdoors, Hobbes is asleep in a tree when Calvin surprises him in his elephant form. They both go to a mud hole to play in.
They are playing when Susie comes up and notices Calvin is covered in mud (she cannot see that Calvin is an elephant). Not knowing she can't see his elephant form, Calvin jokes that he and Hobbes resemble the Republican Party and Tammany Hall. Susie fails to understand the joke and leaves. Calvin remarks that political humor is too sophisticated for girls.
Mom calls Calvin home for dinner. Calvin decides to change back before going to dinner, but as he and Hobbes are going upstairs, Mom sees Calvin is covered in mud (she also cannot see Calvin's elephant form). She sends Calvin upstairs to the bath.
After his bath, Hobbes helps Calvin use the Transmogrifier to change back to a boy. At the dinner table, Dad asks Calvin what his vocabulary words were, but Calvin has forgotten them. After dinner, Calvin has Hobbes do his homework for him while he reads comic books.
- The story had no shown title, "Calvin the Elephant" is its unofficial title.
- This story was reprinted in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes.
- Hobbes refers to Calvin by name while speaking to him at one point in the story. The only other time this happens is in the strip from January 15, 1991.