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The Eighth Fable


The Elephant in Favour

An Elephant once found favour in the eyes of a lion.
In an instant through the woods went gossip about this.
And so, as usually happens, began the guesswork:
How did the Elephant insinuate himself into favour?
It is not as if elephants are handsome, or amusing;
Just look at their appearance, and at how they walk!
The animals talked among themselves.
“If,” said the fox, swishing her tail,
“He had such a fluffy tail, I would not be surprised.”
“Or, little sister,” said the bear, “At least if he had claws,
He would have been favoured:
No one would have thought that extraordinary;
But it is commonly known that he does not even have claws.”
Now the ox entered into the conversation.
“Did he not find favour because of his tusks?
Could they not be considered as horns?”
“So you do not know,” said the ass, flapping his ears,
“How he was able to catch the lion's fancy,
And be appointed to high rank.
But I have guessed the reason:
Without long ears he would never have enjoyed preferment.