Out of Africa
Elephants often populate corners in such a way that the rooms’ other occupants aren’t even immediately aware of their presence.
It’s only after some time has passed that the situation becomes clear.
No, we can’t put a shelf over there, because…well…ahem.
No, that isn’t pot, it’s the smell of…um…
Shhh, we can’t talk about THAT with….
Soon, far sooner than one might imagine, the tenants become divided into two camps: those ignoring the pachyderm and those feeding it. The ‘feeders’ do so surreptitiously; don’t misunderstand, they want the creature gone as much as the others, but upon realizing that they themselves invited him in, well, it almost seems ill-bred to cast him out now. And the ignorers grow to resent the feeders even more than the unwelcome guest, so much more, in fact, that they quite forget the cumbersome animal, and level all their wrath at the feeders.
At which point, warfare bursts forth with all the strength of a thousand mammals, and, rising up, the elephant says:
“My work here is done.”
Photograph by Ryan McGuire