A MODERN FABLE: A PHILOSOPHICAL CONVERSATION BETWEEN AN ELEPHANT AND A CROCODILE

ELEPHANT
Thanks Croc, but no to sheep.  Grasses, ferns  and  herbs I eat in lieu of meat.

CROCODILE
Downright self-righteous you be – you lumbering Tacky Germ.

ELEPHANT
Tacky Germ?  What appellation is your sour tongue intimating?

CROCODILE
You know – your proper classification.

ELEPHANT

Pachyderm  rhyming with worm.Do you  know the biological term for crocodile?

CROCODILE
Some say alligators but we’re only cousins to gators.  Pray tell, what matters that to those who find themselves sliding down our  throats – head, trunk and toes?

ELEPHANT
Frightening I  grant; nonetheless, your  intelligence is scant. — your genus crocodylus.
.
CROCODILE
So what?  With  luck I can eat  up a male hippo without so much as a burp or a belch.

ELEPHANT
Your bloodthirsty words makes my stomach rebel and yell, “Stop stop stop.”

CROCODILE
You miserable  mammal!  You’re no better’n me – your innards just  differ,
Your digestive system   can’t process strong meat – like  lion, or  lynx or beef.

ELEPHANT
What’s that you say?

CROCODILE
It’s nothing to do with goodness or  character.
It’s  physiology –101 — you  two-ton monstrosity.

ELEPHANT

It’s shocking  information you’re imparting — affecting my self-conceptualization.  Hard  to admit I’ve been wrong.  for all along I’d thought twas morality that made the difference twixt you and me.  But no – it be a matter  of intestinity  –

CROCODILE
We don’t need excuses, you and me–  eating  whatever we please – plants or animals. We consume for survival– to keep our shows on the road, in a manner of speaking.

ELEPHANT
Oh there’s more to it than  that.  We don’t make a game of destroying for fun – for measuring who’s better at gathering food..  Croc, we’re stumbled on to something big.. Maybe I can’t be better’n you but the two of us are better’n humans.

CROCODILE
Well said.  It’s not you or me who, for sport,  shoot deer or travel miles to shoot a bear and mount his head upon a wall.    Now say :  “You, croc, are a wise amphibian.”

ELEPHANT
You are indeed.  And the animal supreme – humans —  are morally flawed. They kill in the millions –  not alien beings,  El,  but each other– (shakes his head)

CROCODILE
Some humans,  I hear, in huge numbers, play a game in which they kill each other –nation  versus nation  – sometimes brother against brother.

ELEPHANT
The name of the  game is war and, yes,  great numbers of young go to early graves.

CROCODILE
There must be other explanations.  Surely civilized nations know better than this.  Perhaps you’ve left out a strong fact. . .  Maybe humans, mad with hunger , eat each other.  If this be true though sounding  strange — to kill to eat would be understandable.

ELEPHANT
No human  – black, white, or  brown kills another to calm down the pangs of hunger.

CROCODILE
This I can’t quite figure out.  Just why do humans kill each other?

ELEPHANT
There’s books by the million – maybe billion – analyzing why.  Some say  land, greed,  oil or hegemony– but much much  worse —  nobody knows how to stop the curse.

CROCODILE
We crocs kill to put food on our tables –  figuratively that is.  We don’t need excuses. Our innards call.  All this nonsense has given me a headache. Draw near, El.  Don’t be afraid of water.  Come stand here, near me.  (To himself: “Elephant meat is sweet.  so sweet..)

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By Published On: July 16th, 2010Comments Off on Polly says: A philosophical conversation

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