Digital Dimdima

INDIAN FOLK TALES

When Elephants Did Fly

There was a time when elephants could fly. They had wings four big wings. In fact they were God's favourite vehicles; he used to ride on an elephant when he was busy creating the world. But once humans started living on earth and God's work was over, their importance decreased.
Not only that, the elephants had developed very irritating habits. Sometimes they would crow like cocks. And sometimes, tired of flying in the sky, they would go and sit on the rooftops of houses. The
houses would collapse. The whole world knew how heavy the elephants were, but these creatures had no idea about the trouble they were causing.
It was time for God to take action. He invited the big beasts for a fantastic feast. The elephants stuffed themselves with so much food that once they had eaten their fill, they rolled over on their stomachs and went to sleep.
That was the moment God had been looking for. He quietly cut off the elephants' wings. And, according to tribal lore, he gave away two of their wings to the peacock, which is how the bird got its beautiful tail.
Then God stuck the other two wings on the banana plant, which is how it got its big leaves. When the elephants woke up groggy from sleep, they discovered their great loss. And they got wild so wild that they scampered off into the forests.
A tribal folk tale from Orissa collected by Verrier Elwin. Elwin was an anthropologist who spent his entire life studying and documenting the ways of life of the tribal peoples.

Liked This Story? Then Rate It.