A hefty elephant is quietly grazing when a skinny donkey, irate with the elephant, approaches and begins to berate him. The donkey yells up to the elephant to stop eating and trampling down the grasses in the field. “You aren’t the only one who needs to eat,” the donkey shouts. The elephant ignores him and continues to graze. The donkey becomes more enraged, screaming up at the elephant to think about the other animals and not be such a glutton whose only concern is stuffing himself and leaving hot, steamy piles of stinky dung littering the field. The elephant continues grazing — ignoring the donkey.

Incensed, the donkey rears up and kicks the elephant. With this, the elephant finally responds, “I’m grazing here so I’m able to produce milk to feed my newborn calf. Why don’t you understand that my stinky dung and trampling help to reseed the field, growing the grasses you’ll eat next year?”

The donkey will have none of this, yelling, “Can’t you see that over the years the fields grow more barren? We have young to feed, and you are destroying our grasses!”

The elephant callously replies, “Who cares about you eating, and what are you going to do about it? Scare me away? I’m ten times your size.”

Completely overtaken by his anger, the donkey, with all its might, kicks the elephant in her kneecap. Quite unexpectedly, the elephant falls to her side and onto the donkey. Writhing in pain and now trapped in the lush grass beneath the elephant, the donkey pleads with her to get up and let him go. The elephant, crying in pain, says she can’t move and squirms on her side, trying to get up. Her weight and movement suffocate the donkey, and he dies under the massive weight of the elephant.

The elephant’s calf prods at his mother’s side, trying to help her up with his barely emerging tusks but to no avail. After two days, his mother dies — the smell in the field is now one of death. The neighboring lion, downwind of these events, senses opportunity and moves his pride in for their easiest meal of the week. The lions, full from their meal, recount their cunning, having previously cornered the skinny donkey up a tall foundation of rocks they couldn’t scale, then taunting him for being too skinny to eat anyhow. Before giving up and moving on, they told the donkey how stupid it was for allowing the elephant to eat all its food and destroy its pastures. Their taunts planted the seeds of discontent deep in the heart of the scared donkey, seeds that would grow no food. Once able to scamper off the rocky ledge, the donkey knew who was to blame for all of his problems.

We already know how this story ends — the lion is licking his chops.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *