Friends [The Power of Friendship]
time of this story, people in Asia used to say that there would
never be a time when an elephant and a dog would be friends. Elephants
simply did not like dogs, and dogs were afraid of elephants.
are frightened by those who are bigger than they are, they often
bark very loudly, to cover up their fear. When dogs used to do
this when they saw elephants, the elephants would get annoyed
and chase them. Elephants had no patience at all when it came
to dogs. Even if a dog were quiet and still, any nearby elephant
would automatically attack him. This is why everybody agreed that
elephants and dogs were 'natural enemies', just like lions and
tigers, or cats and mice.
a time, there was a royal bull elephant, who was very well fed
and cared for. In the neighbourhood of the elephant shed, there
was a scrawny, poorly fed, stray dog. He was attracted by the
smell of the rich sweet rice being fed to the royal elephant.
So he began sneaking into the shed and eating the wonderful rice
that fell from the elephant's mouth. He liked it so much, that
soon he would eat nowhere else. While enjoying his food, the big
mighty elephant did not notice the tiny shy stray dog.
such rich food, the once underfed dog gradually got bigger and
stronger, and became very handsome looking. The good-natured elephant
began to notice him. Since the dog had gotten used to being around
the elephant, he had lost his fear. So he did not bark at him.
Because he was not annoyed by the friendly dog, the elephant gradually
got used to him.
became friendlier and friendlier with each other. Before long,
neither would eat without the other, and they enjoyed spending
their time together. When they played, the dog would grab the
elephant's heavy trunk, and the elephant would swing him forward
and backward, from side to side, up and down, and even in circles!
So it was that they became 'best friends', and wanted never to
Then one day
a man from a remote village, who was visiting the city, passed
by the elephant shed. He saw the frisky dog, who had become strong
and beautiful. He bought him from the mahout, even though he didn't
really own him. He took him back to his home village, without
anyone knowing where that was.
the royal bull elephant became very sad, since he missed his best
friend the dog. He became so sad that he didn't want to do anything,
not even eat or drink or bathe. So the mahout had to report this
to the king, although he said nothing about selling the friendly
It just so
happened that the king had an intelligent minister who was known
for his understanding of animals. So he told him to go and find
out the reason for the elephant's condition.
The wise minister
went to the elephant shed. He saw at once that the royal bull
elephant was very sad. He thought, "This once happy elephant
does not appear to be sick in any way. But I have seen this condition
before, in men and animals alike. This elephant is grief-stricken,
probably due to the loss of a very dear friend."
Then he said
to the guards and attendants, "I find no sickness. He seems
to be grief-stricken due to the loss of a friend. Do you know
if this elephant had a very close friendship with anyone?"
him how the royal elephant and the stray dog were best friends.
"What happened to this stray dog?" asked the minister.
He was taken by an unknown man," they replied, "and
we do not know where he is now."
returned to the king and said, "Your majesty, I am happy
to say your elephant is not sick. As strange as it may sound,
he became best friends with a stray dog! Since the dog has been
taken away, the elephant is grief-stricken and does not feel like
eating or drinking or bathing. This is my opinion."
The king said,
"Friendship is one of life's most wonderful things. My minister,
how can we bring back my elephant's friend and make him happy
replied the minister, "I suggest you make an official announcement,
that whoever has the dog who used to live at the royal elephant
shed, will be fined."
This was done,
and when the villager heard of it, he released the dog from his
house. He was filled with great happiness and ran as fast as he
could, straight back to his best friend, the royal bull elephant.
was so overjoyed, that he picked up his friend with his trunk
and sat him on top of his head. The happy dog wagged his tail,
while the elephant's eyes sparkled with delight. They both lived
happily ever after.
the king was very pleased by his elephant's full recovery. He
was amazed that his minister seemed to be able to read the mind
of an elephant. So he rewarded him appropriately.
moral is: Even 'natural enemies' can become