TOUCHING THE ELEPHANT
All of his majesty and dignity and silence was given to me, so that through the touching I was him and in him, and I looked at his eye so far above, which was blind, and small, but did not seem blind, because it was golden brown. And I was filled with grief and shame that he should be chained like this, in the small courtyard, on cement, in the sun,when he was meant to be pacing and stretching under the canopy through grasses which brushed his knees, and bringing branches crashing, and making birds rise, and filling the whole earth with his triumph and trumpeting.
But he was here in bondage, sending some secret thrilling greatness, and I thought that he accepted this bondage, because of his love for the piddling weaklings who crawled around him and did not feed him properly.
Because he could have ranted and broken his chains and killed whoever walked near him,but instead he stood mildly, because of the child who crawled on him, and the brothers who brought him buckets of water sometimes when they deemed it necessary but not at all when he wanted it.
And I knew why elephants were sacred, and in holy books. And perhaps it was the son of the God of the Wind, perhaps it was that Being, Ganesha, who had brought me to the feet of the elephant.