As the first man found his way to the trunk, he stroked the beast, calming and reassuring it that they meant no harm. The others eventually found the animal, and they spent most of the afternoon stroking and feeling the pachyderm in order to determine just what an elephant is, and to build a clear image in their own minds.
As the sun began to set, the animal meandered off, leaving the men to discuss their experience. The four were each excited, and burst into chatter as they found their way back to the path which led to their village.
"What a majestic beast the elephant is," said the first. "An elephant is like a large tree, strong and unbending; only with skin hard and strong rather than rough bark." This man had been holding the elephant's leg, and could only visualize the creature in terms he could compare to a familiar object.
"A tree, did you get lost in the forest again" asked the second. "An elephant isn't like a tree. It is long, and winding. An elephant has many rumples up and down its back, and when it breaths, the moist air is like a windstorm." This man had been grasping the elephant's trunk, and he was sure that his encounter with the beast was the correct one.
The other two added to the argu ...