Painting of a wise man who discovers an elephant tethered by the very thinnest of ropes.

The Elephant & the Rope (Modern Fable)

The Elephant and the Rope is a modern fable by an unknown author. It’s about underestimating your abilities because of past failures. After all, confidence is but a recollection of past successes and failures. This version of the fable is by Juan Artola Miranda.

A long time ago, in a faraway land, there lived a wise man who travelled from village to village, sharing his wisdom and knowledge with those who sought it. One day, while journeying through a remote village, the wise man came across a remarkable sight: a colossal elephant tethered to a small wooden stake by the very thinnest of ropes.

The wise man, intrigued by the sight, approached the elephant’s trainer to inquire about the situation. “Why is this gargantuan beast not breaking free from the rope?” he asked. “Surely, with its immense strength, the elephant could easily snap the rope and roam as it pleases.”

The trainer smiled and replied, “Ah, you see, when the elephant was just a calf, we tied it to a stake with a rope of the same size. At that time, it tried to break free. Many, many times. But it was not strong enough, and it eventually gave up. As the elephant grew, it continued to believe it could not break the rope.”

As he continued his journey, he shared the story of the elephant and the rope with the people he encountered, teaching them about the power of beliefs and how they can limit or empower us.

Juan Artola Miranda

I am Juan Artola Miranda, a fabulist living in the Mexican Caribbean. My friends know me by the name of my father's father, but that name grew into something bigger, my writing reaching tens of millions of readers. It was too strong for me to control. Artola Miranda is the name of my mother's mother. It's a better name for a fabulist.

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