Elephant and life, a nice metaphor which can be adapted to our life, one day or an other !

Extracted of ” Let Me tell you the paths of the life “, of Jorge Bucay


” When I was a child, I adored the circus, and what I liked chiefly, in the circus, it was animals. The elephant in particular fascinated me; as I learnt it afterward, it was the favorite animal of all the children. During its number, the enormous animal showed an extraordinary weight, a size and a strength …

But immediately after and until the following representation, the elephant always remained attached to a small picket done in earth, by a chain which retained one of its legs prisoner.

But this picket was only a tiny piece of wood hardly pushed by some centimeters in the ground. And although the chain is thick and resistant, it seemed to me obvious that an animal capable of uprooting a tree should easily be able to release itself and go away.

The mystery remained unresolved for me.

Then, who holds(retains) him(it)? Why does not he(it) escape? In 5 or 6 years, I trusted still absolved in the science of the adults. I thus questioned master(teacher), father and uncle on the mystery of the pachyderm. One of them explained me that the elephant did not escape because he was raised(drawn up).

I asked then the question which is obvious:

” If he is raised, why do we chain him? ”

I do not remember to myself that we made me a coherent answer.

The time passing, I forgot the mystery of the elephant and its picket, by remembering me only when I met other people who one day, them too, asked themselves the same question.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to fall on somebody rather learned to know the answer:

” The elephant of the circus does not get loose because, since he was young, he was attached to a similar picket. ”

I closed eyes and I imagined the defenseless newborn elephant, attached to this picket. I am sure that at this moment the baby elephant grew, pulled and perspired to try to release itself, but that, the picket being too solid for him, he did not arrive in spite of all his efforts there.

I imagined him who fell asleep exhausted and, the next day, tried again, and two days later and the next days until one day, a terrible day for his story, the animal accepts his powerlessness and to resign himself.

This enormous and powerful pachyderm we see in the circus does not escape, the poor, because he believes that he is not able to do it.

He keeps the memory engraved by the powerlessness which was his after his birth. And the worst, it is he never tried to experience again his strength.”

( Picture : cyril rolando)