The Crocodile and the Elephant: A Fable by Polly Mann

The Crocodile and the Elephant

By Polly Mann

In a stream close to shore a crocodile grunts

to an elephant standing nearby,

“A scrap of goat lies near your feet.”

“Not a lot, but it hits the spot.”

The elephant replies, in a tone quite snide “ Thanks, friend,

but no to meat. Grasses and leaves are my treats.”

Returned the croc with a wicked smile. “You’ re no better’ n me.

It’s that your infantile stomach can’ t process fats.”

“Really! I didn’ t know it was anatomy,

And not moral superiority,” apologizes the elephant.

The croc smiles. “ Well─both of us─we’re better ‘n man.

Neither of us eats members of our own clan.”

“Humans don’t eat humans,“ explains the elephant.

“They kill one another but never for food.”

The croc, amazed, shouts, “Then why do they kill?”

To prove their skill? To show they can?”

“Oh, no,”the elephant replies, “reasons given are many−

land, oil and something textbooks call hegemony.”

The croc flicks its tail, “How dumb. I wish one were here now.”

He licks his lips. “Which reminds me it’s time for lunch.”

The elephant, as in a trance, looks hard at the croc, turns and runs

into the forest . “Time to go. It’ s been nice knowing you.”

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