The Elephant And The Ape

: Boys And Girls Bookshelf

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