Friday, 27 January 2012

The Elephant

“And so you see,” said the supposedly holy, religious, wise, pious, morally superior, and probably bearded man, “that is what God is.”
            There was an uneasy silence amongst his small band of followers as they struggled to digest this latest metaphor.
            “Um… meaning what, exactly?” asked Simon, the one who dressed as a cat.
            The man was nonplussed. “Well, like I said; God is an elephant.”
            “So, he has tusks and things?” asked Benny.
            “No, he’s not literally an elephant; he’s like an elephant.”
            “He never forgets,” explained Colin the Accountant, “and he has very big ears.”
            “No,” explained the man. “That’s still quite literal.”
            “You mean God does forget?” asked Graham the Plumber.
            “No, obviously God doesn’t forget, but not because he’s an elephant…”
            “God’s an elephant?” said Timothy, waking up.
            “No – God’s not an actual elephant, he’s like an elephant. Look,” he sighed, “shall I tell the story again?”
            The followers all nodded; the man continued. “There was once a group of blind men who were out walking...
            “How did they know where they were going?” asked Sebastian the Posh.
            “They probably had a sat-nav?” suggested Jayden the Time Traveller. As usual, there was complete silence whenever Jayden spoke, even from the man, who carried on regardless.
            “…and they found an elephant. One of the blind men reached out and touched the elephant’s trunk and said, What is this thing? It feels very much like a snake. Another of the blind men, who was standing next to one of the elephant’s ears, reached out and touched one. No, this thing is nothing like a snake; it is more like a fan. This prompted an immediate reaction from the third blind man, who was standing next to the elephant’s tusks. I disagree, he said, this thing is like an elephant’s tusk. The final blind man, who was standing next to the elephant’s leg, took issue with this, proclaiming, You’re all wrong; this thing is mainly like a tree. But they were all wrong…”
            “Apart from the third man,” interjected Mustafah the Invisible.
            “Who said that?” asked the man.
            “They were all wrong,” repeated the man. “God is like the elephant: He’s so big that one person alone cannot describe Him.”
            “Unless that person has eyes,” said one of the followers.

But no-one knew who it was who spoke.

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