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bilu
01/23/2006, 08:13 PM
<big><big><big><big>The Elephant and the Ant

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<big><big><big><big> </big></big></big></big><big><big>Deep in the jungle, there once lived an enormous and great elephant. He was king of all the jungle. The animals, respect him for he was great. They came before him during any jungle dispute. They listen to his advice and live by his rule.

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<big><big> </big></big><big><big>But the elephant was arrogant and proud. He thought he was the wisest of all the animals. Yet his advice was cruel and made the animals unhappy. The animals of the jungle became discontented with the elephant as their king. They gathered together in a clearing in the jungle to discuss this problem. All the great animals of the jungle were there. the tiger, the panther, the leopard, the jackal. The air was filled with excitement. The tiger roared and the gathering fell silent.

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<big><big> </big></big><big><big>'We must revolt against the elephant!' he roared. Everyone cheered. But when the tiger called for an animal to stand up to the elephant, they fell silent and looked away.</big></big>


<big><big> </big></big><big><big>Then a small and faint voice was heard, 'I will get rid of the elephant as our king.' The animals stared at the small and humble ant who had spoken. They burst into laughter at the idea. 'That weak ant could not beat the powerful king of the jungle!'</big></big>


<big><big> </big></big><big><big>'You are too small and weak," they jeered. But the lazy jackal who did not want to stand up to the elephant himself said, 'Let him challenge the elephant if he wishes.'</big></big>


<big><big> </big></big><big><big>And so the news spread throughout the jungle. When the elephant heard the news, he roared with laughter. He did not worry about the ant.

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<big><big> </big></big><big><big>Days passed and nothing happened. The animals did not believe that the ant would face the elephant. But the ant remained firm. One afternoon, the jungle shook with the sound of the great elephant snores. The ant knew that this was his chance. He found the enormous elephant asleep under a tree. He entered the elephant's trunk and tickled the inside of his head. The king of the jungle leapt up and down.

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<big><big> </big></big><big><big>The ant went exploring inside his head and the elephant roared and danced about. What a sight!</big></big>


<big><big> </big></big><big><big>When the elephant could stand it no more, he visited the bullock for advise. The bullock knew at once. 'It is the ant!' he cried. The elephant did not agree. But the bullock said,'Be wise and wish this ant good thoughts and long life.' The elephant did as he asked. He wished the ant good fortune and long life, and so the ant left the elephant's head.

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<big><big> </big></big><big><big>From then on, the elephant truly was the wise and gentle king of the jungle.

(Indian folktale )
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