ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 24
Columns - 5th Column

'Ali' katha at the Elephant Headquarters

By Rypvanwinkle

The herd of elephants were in disarray. Some baby elephants wanted the Elephant King to abdicate. Other baby elephants wanted the Heir Apparent to take over the reins. And then there was the Prisoner Elephant who had joined the herd recently who wanted to be King sometime in the near future. All the baby elephants had gathered at the Elephant Headquarters…

"All I want is for the King to be stripped of his absolute powers…" the Prisoner Elephant said.

"No, we want the King to abdicate…" some other elephants trumpeted.

"Well, I don't mind that either," the Prisoner Elephant said, "since we have not been able to rule the jungle under his leadership…"

"Don't forget that we once did, until the Queen Bee decided to take matters into her own hands…" some supporters of the Elephant King pointed out.

"How about joining the present rulers?" the Professorial Elephant asked, "then, we can indulge in all the perks and privileges we are entitled to…"

"That is not what we should aim for," a supporter of the Elephant King said, "we should try to become rulers ourselves…"

"And the Elephant King has not been able to do that for a dozen years now…" some other elephants trumpeted in unison, "so, it is time for him to go…"

"Maybe then it is time for the Heir Apparent to take over the reins…" the Prisoner Elephant suggested.

"In fact, I would quite like to become King after so many years of being the Heir Apparent…" the Heir Apparent Elephant trumpeted.
"May the Heir Apparent reign for long…" some Elephants cheered.

"Shame on you, Heir Apparent," another group of elephants jeered, "you are betraying the King who appointed you Heir Apparent over many other seniors in the herd…"

"I am doing it for the sake of the herd…" the Heir Apparent Elephant declared, "and the Prisoner Elephant says I have a good chance of ousting the Elephant King…"

"And we should begin by trying to take over the key posts in the herd…" the Prisoner Elephant proposed.

"But the King's nominees have already been chosen for the top posts in the herd…" the Professorial Elephant complained.

"Then, we shall challenge all those appointments and propose our own nominees…" the Prisoner Elephant declared.

"Ah, yes," the Professorial Elephant agreed, "then the King will feel threatened and will have to give in to our demands…"

"Yes," the Heir Apparent Elephant trumpeted, "he may even abdicate and then I can be King of the Elephants and who knows, even the King of the Jungle soon…"

"Shame on you, Heir Apparent," another group of elephants jeered again, "we all thought you were a gentle Elephant but I guess we have to change our minds now…"

"But do you think we have the support of the majority of the Elephants to force the King to abdicate?" the Prisoner Elephant asked.

Just then, the Elephant King entered, casting a huge shadow over the gathered baby elephants. "I don't think there is any need for that," the Elephant King trumpeted, "for I am ready to share my powers with you…"

"How can we trust you?" the Prisoner Elephant asked angrily.

"Yes, you promised us exactly that sometime ago but nothing has happened…" the Heir Apparent trumpeted.

"I will show my commitment to sharing my powers with all you baby elephants…" the Elephant King declared.

"How will you do that?" all the baby elephants trumpeted in unison.

"I will demonstrate that I am your servant and no longer your master", the Elephant King declared and knelt down as a mark of respect before all the baby elephants.

Before the baby elephants could realise what had happened, they were all crushed and trampled by the weight of the Elephant King kneeling before them.

There were no more protests in Elephant land.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.