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That each by observation

Might satisfy his mind.

2

5

The First approached the Elephant,

And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,

At once began to bawl :
“God bless me! but the Elephant

Is very like a wall!”

10

3
The Second, feeling of the tusk,

Cried, “Ho, what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp ?

To me 't is mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant

Is very like a spear!”

4

15

The Third approached the animal,

And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,

Thus boldly up and spake :
“I see," quoth he, “the Elephant

Is very like a snake !

20

5 The Fourth reached out his eager hand,

And felt about the knee.

"What most this wondrous beast is like

Is mighty plain,” quoth he; “'T is clear enough the Elephant

Is very like a tree!

6

5

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,

Said: “Even the blindest man Can tell what this resembles most;

Deny the fact who can, This marvel of an Elephant

Is very like a fan!”

10

7

The Sixth no sooner had begun

About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail

That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, “the Elephant

Is very like a rope !”

15

8

And so these men of Indostan

Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion

Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,

And all were in the wrong!

20

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QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 1. What is meant by one's 5. Tell the same about each

“ viewpoint”? Try to blind man in turn.
make up a story of your 6. Why did they quarrel ?
own to illustrate your ex- 7. How could the quarrel have
planation.

been avoided ? 2. Show how two persons 8. How does this story apply

quarrel because they are to others than “ the blind
unwilling to see each men of Indostan”?
other's viewpoint.

Can you think of school3. What may “the elephant” ground troubles in which

mean besides an elephant ? you were “blind men of 4. What did the first man say Indostan”? Tell of one.

about the elephant? Why 10. What should we try to learn did he say it?

and practice about viewpoints ?

John Godfrey Saxe, an American humorous poet, was born at Highgate, Vermont, in 1816. He died in Albany, New York, in 1887. He was a newspaper editor and a writer for magazines. He is now remembered chiefly by his “ The Blind Men and the Elephant.”

Thou ! why, thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more, or a hair less, in his beard than thou hast: thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

SNOW-BOUND

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER

PART I

The beloved Quaker poet Whittier was born in an old farmhouse built by his ancestors in a lonely place in the East Parish of Haverhill, in the valley of the Merrimac River in northeastern Massachusetts. The place is so lonely that it is said that the wild deer yet steal out to drink at the stream which flows near it. Not a neighboring roof was in sight in Whittier's time. The old place is shown on page 90 just as it looked when the Whittier family lived there.

In this old farmhouse and on the surrounding farm, Whittier spent his boyhood. And in his beautiful poem, “Snow-Bound”, he tells us how, by a great snowstorm, the Whittier family was shut in for two days while the storm roared around.

The poet himself wrote in explanation of “Snow-bound”:“ The inmates of the family at the Whittier homestead who are referred to in the poem were my father, mother, my brother and two sisters, and my uncle and aunt, both unmarried.

“In my boyhood, in our lonely farmhouse, we had scanty sources of information; few books and only a small weekly newspaper. Our only annual was the almanac. Under such circumstances story telling was a necessary resource in the long winter evenings. My father when a young man had traversed the wilderness to Canada, and could tell us of his adventures with Indians and wild beasts, and of his sojourn in the French villages. My uncle was ready with his record of hunting and fishing, and, it must

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WHITTIER'S BIRTHPLACE, HAVERHILL, MASSACHUSETTS

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