Monthly Archives: November 1980

A Fable

From the New Harvard Magazine (Fall 1980)


By Randy Schoenberg

The donkey and the elephant started down the road to ask the inhabitants of the land whom they would rather have as their leader; each first queried the worker bees saying, “Vote for me.” But the bees could not hammer out their differences and so replied, “How are we to decide between such drones as you?” The donkey and the elephant each queried the magpies, “Will you vote for me?” But the reply the magpies broadcast could not be heard above the static that the question created. Then the donkey and the elephant queried the bulls, asking “Will you vote for me?” But the bulls answered, “Are we to waste our time deciding between you two greenhorns when we could be doing something capital, like exchanging blows?” So the donkey and the elephant went on and finally queried the lion’s cubs, “Will you please vote for me?” The backscratching lion’s cubs, though small, roared, “We choose the elephant in the hope that he will remember that it was upon our backs that he was launched up to his exalted position.”