Missing Aesop’s: Trunkless

There was once an elephant without a trunk.

He was bathing in the setting sun when an animal passed by and stopped.

‘What are you looking at?’ challenged the elephant.

‘You’re weird,’ replied the animal. ‘What beast are you?’

‘I’m an elephant,’ replied the elephant.

The animal looked at him. ‘But you haven’t got a trunk.’

‘Oh,’ replied the elephant. ‘That must be why I rarely trumpet.’

‘So how can you say you’re an elephant if you have no trunk?’ persevered the animal.

‘I’m grey and wrinkly, with elephant parents,’ explained the elephant. ‘But more than that, I feel like an elephant.’

‘Well, sometimes I feel like a superhero but that doesn’t make me one,’ the animal persisted.

‘That’s true,’ confirmed the elephant. ‘What you are is rude, which makes you an arsehole instead.’

The animal raised his eyebrows and strolled away. ‘Funny that,’ he said.I feel like an animal with a talent for reasoning and an interest in the truth. And my parents are very polite.’

Moral: Individuals live outside definitions.


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