The Elephant Woman

By Robert Larsen


Once upon a time, deep in the jungle, there was a village where the animals lived together.  The favorite pastime for the inhabitants was the excitement of scaring and making each other jump.  One day an elephant woman moved into this animal village.  Everyone could not wait to take their turn at making her jump.  Each was met with the same response:  She would slowly turn to them and say, "I'm sorry, elephants never jump.  They never forget either!"


A storm came to the forest and the river became swollen and swift.  Two tiger cubs were swept into the current on a log.  In a fervent attempt at rescue, the animals of the village ran upstream to where there was a bridge.  Here they could cross over and run down to where they might reach the cubs before they were swept over the falls.  As they ran upstream, they met the elephant woman running downstream!  They shouted to her.  She was going the wrong way!  The elephant woman paid no heed.  She continued downstream to where she jumped the swollen river and rescued the cubs.  The other animals arrived at the other shore just in time to witness her feat.  "Hey!" they shouted.  "I thought you said elephants never jump!?"  She looked sheepishly at the ground and said, "Oh, I forgot."


Where we are in our body has a great effect upon what we experience.  Down in the deep, long muscles of the legs and feet there dwells an "elephant woman" who has, although scared many times, never jumped.  Here another way of being in the world has never been forgotten.  The old ways of the first people, the ones who were born in harmony with the life of the earth, wait to be awakened.  Here the one who has always been in touch still lives and breathes.