The Elephant and The Ape


An Elephant named Grand Tusk and an Ape named Nimble were friends. Grand Tusk observed, “Behold, how big and powerful I am!” Nimble cried in reply, “Behold, how agile and entertaining I am!”

Each was eager to know which was really superior to the other, and which quality was the most esteemed by the wise.

So they went to Dark Sage, an owl that lived in an old tower, to have their claims discussed and settled.

Dark Sage said, “You must do as I bid, that I may form an opinion.”

“Agreed!” cried both.

“Then,” said Dark Sage, “cross yonder river, and bring me the mangoes on the great tree beyond.”

Off went Grand Tusk and Nimble, but when they came to the stream, which was flowing full, Nimble held back; but Grand Tusk took him up on his back, and swam across in a very short time. Then they came to the mango-tree, but it was very lofty and thick. Grand Tusk could neither touch the fruit with his trunk, nor could he break the tree down to gather the fruit. Up sprang Nimble, and in a trice let drop a whole basketful of rich ripe mangoes. Grand Tusk gathered the fruit up into his capacious mouth, and the two friends crossed the stream as before.

“Now,” said Dark Sage, “which of you is the better? Grand Tusk crossed the stream, and Nimble gathered the fruit.” Each thing in its place is best.

“3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.” ~ Romans 12: 3-8 (NRSV)

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