The elephant was lost to the wind.
He stood foursquare against the tumult, head lowered as if ready to charge. It wrapped his body in its flags and banners, and then as quickly ripped them away. He had to close his eyes in some of the gusts, and occasionally his tail stuck straight out behind. Many of the other animals found shelter, and even the monkeys came down to the lower branches of their trees. But the elephant flapped his ears in ecstasy as the wind battered against him, and trumpeted as loudly as the rowdydow would permit.
“I hear you,” said a frolicking cloud, as it whipped past his head. It turned a summersault back over the elephant’s back, and positioned itself with much dexterity in the elephant’s line of vision. “And I hazard the guess I’m the only one who can.”
“It’s like flying.”
“Now, now. You’ve tried that before.”
“But I’m staying on the ground, this time.”
“Well,” conceded God. “You’re standing on the ground. And it’s probable you will be staying on the ground. But, as you know, nothing in life is certain.”
“It certainly isn’t,” agreed the elephant, who then attempted to nod his head in agreement. But the wind took a particular bend, and not only could he not nod his head, but his trunk got thrown back into his face, hitting him in the eye.
“Ouch,” said the elephant.
“A cautionary God,” said God, “would go `tsk tsk’, and tell you to come in out of the wind.”
“And is that what you’re going to tell me,” shouted the elephant over the roar.
“God, no,” said God. “This is great stuff.”
“You’re a reckless God, then?” asked the elephant.
“Reckless. And cautious. There is a time for both. There is a need for both. Life demands that you run with it. And sometimes you run scared, and sometimes you run joyful.” The cloud was now tangled in the elephant’s tusks. ” And sometimes you get so caught up in it all that you can’t tell the difference.” The cloud shouted. “And sometimes you get hit in the eye. And sometimes you don’t.”
“And sometimes both,” suggested the elephant.
“You’re catching on.”
“But to you,” protested the elephant. “It is all so simple.”
“But …” The cloud sounded perplexed. “It is as simple as it sounds. Everything is everything. What you seem to do is pay too much attention to the individual parts. Concentrate on the whole.”
“I can hardly think of everything when I’m in the middle of this.”
“This is the perfect place.” The cloud played tag with the elephant’s ears. “Race with it. Race with it. Race with it. You
will never dance a better dance than here. With me.”
And the elephant watched the cloud tumble around his head, and bounce against his back, and twist around his tail.
And the elephant laughed, and laughed so loud that it broke through even the racing wind, and made the other animals peek from their shelters to watch.
And the elephant bobbed and weaved with the cloud, and the cloud held the elephant in a wispy embrace, and the wind turned to music.