The Elephant and The King
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Long ago, the King of Giants commissioned a throne to be built. He had been searching for a craftsman capable of making one that will not collapse beneath his tremendous weight. No one was able to fulfill this request and several craftsmen were put in prison for their failure to deliver the promised result. A humble chair maker heard of the difficulty and got to work on an invention that would solve this problem. He has an idea for a throne that could support the King’s weight, but he had to prove the value of his work. Knowing that he could not focus on the failures of others, the chair maker decided to make a public demonstration. He hosted an event at the Royal Circus and brought in an elephant while the King was attending.

 

To the audience members, his new chair appeared as a common object encountered every day. It had four legs, a back, and was useful for sitting on. People saw common chairs so often that his invention seemed like “just another chair” to them. It required no further examination since they have seen thousands of chairs before. There was simply no reason to look closer or to be curious about its makeup. In their minds, it looked like every other chair they had encountered.

 

When the circus show began, no one could take their eyes off of the elephant standing on his new chair. He balanced a beach ball on his trunk while standing on one leg in the center of the ring. After the show, the King calmly walked over and examined the chair closely. The differences were so subtle and could not be recognized at first glance. Upon examination, the king observed that the joints in the wood were unique. They were fitted together in a new fashion in order to render the chair extremely strong. Although made of the same materials and having a similar appearance, there were cross members made of many triangles on the corners of each joint acting to reinforce the right angles. These changes in appearance were so subtle that an untrained eye cannot even recognize the difference.

 

Although the chair maker’s design was far superior, it appeared quite similar to common chairs without close examination. The strength of the chair was only seen when an Elephant stood upon it. The King knew that common chairs would have crumbled beneath the elephant’s weight. By his subtle demonstration, the chair maker had made the King aware of his talent, although not seen by others. No one recognized his skill because they had seen common chairs so many times. However, the King had a unique perspective and appreciated the level of craftsmanship.

 

Most onlookers classified this new chair based upon their previous experiences. When attention was not paid to the details of the carving, someone could not recognize its superior strength. They had already decided in their minds that it was only a common chair. But the Giant knew better since he had experienced chairs from a different perspective. When an Elephant did not crush the chair, only the King was able to recognize the superior craftsmanship. But the humble chair maker had to create a spectacle in order to get the kings attention.

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Long ago, the King of Giants commissioned a throne to be built. He had been searching for a craftsman capable of making one that will...