A Folktale From India
                                     Adapted by Jean Warren

One day five blind men went to the zoo.  They were especially excited to touch a real elephant.  When they got to the elephant, they each had a turn petting him.

When the men got home, a friend asked each of the men what an elephant was like.

The first man, who had touched the elephant’s side, replied, “an elephant is big and smooth like a wall”.

The second man, who had touched the elephant’s trunk, said, “an elephant is long and tubular, like a giant snake”.

The third man, who had touched the elephant’s tusk, said, “an elephant is hard and sharp as a spear”.

The fourth man, who had touched the elephant’s leg, said, “an elephant is tall and round, like the trunk of a tree.

The fifth man, who had touched the elephant’s ear, said, “an elephant is thin and wide, like a giant fan.

“How can this be?” asked the friend.  Each of you touched the same elephant, yet each of you felt something different.  I will have to go to the zoo myself to see what an elephant is like.

The next day the sixth blind man went to the zoo and petted the elephant.  When he got home he told his friend, “You are all wrong.  An elephant is thin and round like a rope”.

(What part of the elephant did the sixth man touch?)

Let your children act out the story.  For older children, leave out what part each man touched and have your children guess where they were touching the elephant.