The Elephant and the pig

Retold by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

Pig picture credit: Clipartextras. 

In India, man and elephant lived together in harmony for millennia. There is no major festival in the big temples without an elephant(s). The story here is an apologue told and retold in India a billion times. Here is my presentation.
The Indian elephant (Elephas Maximus) and the pig
There was a majestic caparisoned temple elephant. It was the cynosure of all eyes esp. during the festival season. It was massive and yet graceful in appearance, movement and personality. The Mahout took the elephant to a lake for a bath and a scrub. The elephant enjoyed the romp in the lake. Wherever the mahout scrubbed, it turned over its massive body and limbs so the mahout could scrub that part of the body well. He had a bunch of Bananas on the lakeshore as a snack after the bath. The elephant was returning from the lake to the temple. This elephant is an Auto-Pachyderm, and knows its way back to the temple. He saw a pig smeared heavy with mud, muck and mire coming its way on the bridge. It could not avoid the pig because it was half way down the bridge. The elephant was walking in a regal manner as it was its normal gait. It was clean as a whistle. The pig was dripping mud and slime from its body. The elephant saw it and could not backtrack to avoid the dirty pig. It took a long and deep breath, held it and moved to the side of the bridge to avoid physical contact and the body odor of the pig. When the pig saw the elephant move to the side, it became proud, changed its gait, turned its snout up in the air and walked jauntily as if he owned the bridge. He felt beautiful. He remembered his grandma calling him Shayna Punim (pretty face). There were faunal spectators watching the drama taking place on the bridge. 
The pig passed the elephant and reached the other end of the bridge with no incident. The elephant exhaled and walked on the bridge avoiding the mud track left behind by the pig. The spectator pigs queried the haughty pig what happened on the bridge. They worried about the bridge walker, because the elephant could crush the pig to a pulp. 
The bridge walker stood on top of a jutting rock and addressed the porcine panel of admirers. “My dear compatriots, see what happened on the bridge. The temple elephant was so afraid of me that it moved to the side and let me pass by. That is how big and great I am.” The grunting pigs in appreciation of his chutzpah raised their forelegs in homage and celebrated his valor with an inebriant kvell. 
The incident did not go unnoticed. That was the talk of the town hall and the sylvan glade among the fauna. The news reached the other temple elephants through the gossiping goose, who watched the entire episode sitting on the side rail of the bridge. The pachydermal panelists seated in a semicircle held a judicial enquiry and questioned the senior elephant, “Was it true, you let a dirty pig pass by you because you were afraid of the swine? How could you tolerate such an egregious conduct from a pig? Don't you know we are Elephas Maximus. Hearing such probing questions from the judicative panelists, the younger sibling of the defendant recused himself. 
The senior temple elephant stood there with not one squeak until the assembled elephants voiced their concern. The senior elephant spoke in a calm, and deliberate manner. “Dear friends, I understand your concern. I did not let you down on the Bridgegate, a misnomer in my opinion. You know me well. I am twice your size individually. I could have crushed the arrant fool with the light touch of my forefoot. I desisted. Out of fear. No way. That pig was dripping mud and slime and had an odious smell. If I crushed that dirty pig, my foot would have been stained with its blood, mud, muck and mire. I decided otherwise. What is better: Stay clean or get drabbled? I chose the former, moved to the side and let the frowzy pig pass by me. That schmutzy pig thinks he scared me. It is not so. 
The panel accepted the explanation and applauded the enlightened senior elephant. 
Lesson: Do not associate with the vile. Seek the friendship of Sattvic people.