Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The saga of why elephant was not chosen the king?

When elections begin, I am often asked to sing,
the tale of why elephant wasn't chosen the king.

After dinos left the earth, the animals gathered together,
the jungle had decided to elect their leader.
The problems were moo many, and there were moo many voices,
and when it came to the king, there were boo many choices.

This is before humans, demons and demon-cracy existed,
before royalty was thought divine, or guillotine was invented,
sharing land, food, caves, was forever a problem,
and without a king, there seemed no solution.

The monkeys shook trees, wolves howled, birds roosted,
elephants shook the earth, cows mooed, jackals boasted,
an owl chaired the session, the crows spread rumors,
and cats, rats, dogs, hare, turtles, deer, lions talked in murmurs.

Finally the session began, owl asked for nominations, stated,
"There are things I know, and things I don't,
and there are things I don't want to know,
but before we begin, I must tell you how it is fated.

The king shall rule, by his will, and by his skill,
and take what belongs to him, no less, no more,
and have our respect, for who he is, as a beast,
and treat us as equals, no less, no more".

The pigs began to grunt, and showed intention to squeal.
Owl permitted it, and a boar then stood up on two feet,
and said, "A king cannot be a king, if he is equal to the others".
Owl hooted, "As king he is equal, more equal than the brothers."

Few hands went up, monkeys rose first up,
but were deemed too naughty, too childish for responsibility,
and since insects, birds were always fleeing from calamity,
rats were too small, cats too clean, dogs always licking others,

soon most of the animals were dismissed back their place,
and only the elephant and the lion were left in the race.
(There was no divine hand in this, no lotuses or roses thrown,
and no walkouts, boycotts occurred, for such things were unknown).

The elephant raised its trunk, and announced his intent,
and began his high pitched, arrogant rant,
"For years, we vegetarians, have been kept down by some,
we are in majority, we are kept on low ground by some.

We don't get full share of meals, our water bodies are attacked,
and we are always blamed for our overgrazing in hinterlands,
Elect me, I promise a turnaround, a leash on those carnivores,
see my stature, see my snout, my size, I will reinvent jungle mores."

The deer clapped, birds seemed unruffled, cows thought it boo-ring,
Wolves gnashed their teeth, cats, dogs, jackals found this talk alarming.
So when the lion rose with a roar, they felt the tremor within, and emerged an uproar,
and then the lion coughed, stretched and unstretched, and began his eloquent address:

"Friends, the elephant is strong, it lives as a throng, keeps its tribe together,
but when it comes to governance, we lions and tigers are better.
For elephant never forgets, is ever full of regrets, and is slow in many respects,
and we all know, an ant up its nose kills it, so its afraid of even little insects.

Elephant eats too much, never shares its meal, is never satisfied,
and believes its grand, but to prove it on land, wants always to be deified.
Must I mention the white elephant projects, caste/species based promises, false teeth?
You show it a bunch of bananas, or sugarcane farm, and see him sneak and steal.

We are lions, we hunt our fill, and share our meals with jackals and vultures,
and when we kill, we cleanse the herds of their weakest members,
we take what belongs to us, we are our own masters on this earth, we're brave,
and when we are satisfied, we stay low, or we return to our quiet cave.

In intention you can never suspect us, we ensure the survival of fittest!
The balance of the world, food chains, populations depends on us.
In a jungle, the unity of your herds, your morality, begins with us,
As for a king, chose the being, who can make you way of life long lasting."

The lion sat down, and elephant held his ground, and animals began to talk,
"The elephants is tough, too big to ignore, and yet can he walk his talk?
In elephant's rule, will the rabbits and rats and deer and cows overrun the earth?
There will be too many of us, the jungle will be in throes, it will be just chaos...

The lion is bathed in blood, and has hunted our kind for so long,
and yet, when he in slumber, it seems, he can do us no wrong,
so stately in slumber, so elegant in its walk, so sleek in hunt,
and he knows how to take out the brothers, who are miscreants or defunct.

When lion stays around, young ones behave, old ones watch their own backs,
and wolves and dogs and bears and hyenas, always stay together as packs,
when lion holds his ground, we are discrete, we are God fearing, we're ourselves,
but in an elephant kingdom, we'd be overrun by their calves".

Jackals whispered, "and you know how elephants behave when they go 'mast',
a hungry lion can be satisfied, but an angry or 'mast 'elephant is quite worse",
Wolves howled in unison, "Lion! King! Lion! King!" and pigeons began cooing,
Dogs joined in, asses joined in, deer consented, hare jumped to feet, cows began mooing

The elephants held their noses up, and cried "foul play, foul play"
but on the day of that election, the lions took the day,
and to the crowd now in commotion, owl spoke to ease any tension,
"The results are clear, we need an overseer, an animal we all respect,

While elephant is huge, and has some popular views, its not a kingly thing,
And for the greatest benefit of all, for unity, and for a healthy co-living,
for the sake of progress, for making most happy and to prevent an uprising,
it becomes clear in this meeting, the elephant must not be the king".

Since that day the lions rule, and the jungle law is set,
"Your king must be the animal, you ever hold in respect.
While we live as God or natural selection devised us,
in the end, it is our leaders who define us".

"There are things that I know, and things I don't,
and there are things I don't want to know",
I repeat owl's words, as I loudly sing,
The raga of how or why elephant was not chosen the king.


Vivek Sharma said...


April 23, 2009
04:09 PM


good one
the lion does not over-kill!

April 23, 2009
05:16 PM

Enjoyed reading this:)

April 23, 2009
10:18 PM

Very Good.
In Iraq they removed lion from the throne and the elephant they placed there is too unwieldy to do any good to the country. That forest can only be governed by lion.

April 23, 2009
11:11 PM

good piece!

Vivek Sharma said...


swarajya posted 8 hrs ago

Mayawati must read your poem.She may change her symbol.

Vivek Sharma posted 28 mins ago

If politicians could pay occasional attention to their criticism and make changes in their lifestyle or functioning, the world would be a much better place. As far as Madam goes, the poem has its purpose, but given how few people read my verses, I don't think it will get that far :)
It is just fun to put things in a perspective using a parable like this...

Vivek Sharma said...


Inji Pennu
April 24, 2009
01:31 AM


Vivek Sharma
April 24, 2009
09:04 AM

Enjoyed writing this... My rage on the page!
@ Morris... I wasn't thinking about Iraq while writing this, but if the parable is a good one, it should apply to many cultures, and places.
@ temporal... lion is "so stately in slumber, so elegant in its walk, so sleek in hunt,"... and doesn't over-kill :)

Blue Athena said...

Must say you've outdone yourself. :)

Vivek Sharma said...

It is good to see you here Blue Athena...
the poem was written in an attempt to tame my beastly rage :)