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That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
At once began to bawl :
Is very like a wall!”
Cried, “Ho, what have we here
To me 't is mighty clear
Is very like a spear!”
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
Thus boldly up and spake :
Is very like a snake !”
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!”
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!”
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
That fell within his scope,
Is very like a rope !”
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Exceeding stiff and strong,
And all were in the wrong!
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.
been avoided ? 2. Show how two persons 8. How does this story apply
quarrel because they are to others than “ the blind
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.
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER
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