China-focused Satire, Social Commentary, Comics and More

Life Lessons from an Asian Elephant


Totally Awesome Picture of the Week 25


What tantalizing embodiment of sin could possibly compel both this baby elephant and a full grown man to peer shamelessly into the cavernous zone of stink? Peanuts? Strippers? Shiny?

No. This is the wrong approach. I notice now that the baby is crying and the man wears a painful grimace. What then, could draw them to this self-inflicted discomfort? Maybe, if we review the facts we will discover something that has been missed.

Location: Yichang, Hubei, PR China. This is good. There are Asian Elephants and China is part of Asia so we know that these elephants feel at home; there are lots of men in Asia.

Aura: Either good or bad. Elephants can be relative saints (think Dumbo’s mom when she is happy) but also anger-fed beasts of evil (think Dumbo’s mom raging); men are like elephants.

Surroundings: Park with trees, rocks with built-in speakers, basketball court, many sleeping workmen. Ok, elephants like sleeping and are used to trees because there are many trees in Asia. The singing rocks may not be too cool with them; men love singing rocks, sports and sleeping. They are also used to trees.

Lighting: Natural. Good, elephants like natural; men sometimes like natural too.

Health: N/A. Aside from the tear the elephant has refused to comment; the man grunted through his grimace but was otherwise unresponsive to questioning.

With that my impatience conquered reason. I was getting no where. Their motives still a complete mystery, I began to list possibilities: greed? temperance? pride? charity? lust? kindness? sloth? chastity? envy? diligence? wrath? humility? gluttony? patience? Do elephants live by the same creeds as humans?

The questions that arose! A seemingly impenetrable mystery of the world… but OH! A hark of sorts – me thinks me hears within the resonating grunt of that tantalized man – a clue.


Wondrous advancements of the mind! I am provoked. With little effort I rock from heel to toe and soon I see for myself what the fuss is about:

OH. Now begins rationalization. But I stop and remember, this is China. Though elephants in America do not eat children, this culture has its own customs. Smile, accept, and try not to stare. Send it to the bank and your mind is that much richer.

I use the same heel-toe method to remove myself from the fascinating spectacle, this time taking the man by the sleeve as I move. What?! he asks, the spell broken. I’m hungry.

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