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Grandpa Pencil's Little Rhymes

The Blind Men and the Elephant
(a Hindu Fable)



The Blind Men and the Elephant
(a Hindu Fable)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see an elephant
(Though each of them was blind)
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The first approached the elephant,
And happening to fall
Against a broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl;
"God bless me! but the elephant
Is very like a wall!"

The second, feeling of a tusk,
Cried, "Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an elephant
Is very like a spear!"

The third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake;
"I see," qouth he, "the elephant
Is very like a snake."

The forth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wonderous beast is like
Is mighty plain, " quoth he;
"'Tis clear enough the elephant i
Is very like a tree!"

The fifth who chanced to touch an ear,
Said, "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an elephant
Is very like a fan!"

The sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the elephant
Is very like a rope."

And so the men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right
And all of them were wrong.

The Moral
So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail off in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean


A Hindu Legend

 

 


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