The Donkey and the Elephant

A donkey and an elephant stood at the top of a hill overlooking the jungle below. They observed the animal activity down in the jungle. After observing for a little while, the donkey turned to the elephant and said, "I think the lion has too much power, too much roar. The chipmunk has neither. They should be more equal". The elephant looked sideways at the donkey and responded, "What? What are you talking about? The lion is the king of the jungle. HE is SUPPOSED to be stronger and louder than the chipmunk." "Yeah", said the donkey. "But that's not fair. The lion has too much and the chipmunk has too little. A chipmunk should be equal to a lion. EVERY animal should be equal to every other animal." The elephant shook it's huge head, looked over at the donkey and said, "Huh? Since when is the chipmunk the same as the king of the jungle?" The donkey responded, "Since now. The jungle should be more humane, more gentle, more ... nice." The elephant trumpeted, "What on earth are you talking about? It's a JUNGLE, for God's sake!" The donkey stubbornly replied, "Well, it doesn't HAVE to be a jungle. We could change it. We could change it to a place where every animal is treated the same." The elephant, now becoming concerned for the sanity of the donkey, said, "What about the animals who naturally kill and eat other animals, you know, for food? What about Darwin's Law, you know, biological and physical survival of the fittest?" The donkey sadly replied, "We need to stop that. We need to change biology. Pass some laws or something. It's not fair that some eat and some get eaten." "So, what do you propose as a way to change that?" the elephant responded. The donkey replied, "We donkeys should band together, and change the jungle." The elephant, who never forgot, replied, "Lest you forget, that would go against the nature of things. Go against nature's way, the way things work, and have worked, since Adam was a baby. I don't think you can just turn a jungle into a paradise". "What's wrong with living in a paradise?" asked the donkey. The elephant, now growing tired of the stubborn donkey, responded heatedly, "It's not reality. And we live in reality. We live in a jungle."

"And you, an elephant, are really a lumbering beast who embraces the past, and remembers it too fondly" said the donkey.

"And, you, a donkey," said the elephant, "are really an ass."

The moral of the story: despite all the well-intentioned wishes and efforts of the donkeys it is the nature of the jungle to be, essentially, a jungle.

an original fable by Andrew Lawrence copyright 2014

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