Written by Robert W. Armijo
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Sunday, 22 July 2007

image for "Let sleeping elephants lie…or you may [die]," Man in Thailand learns too late trying to compose ancient proverb of his own
Friend of elephant victim contemplates his loss and thanks God he was not cursed with the gift of the muse.

Sidney, Australia - An elephant killed a 30-year-old-man in eastern Thailand today. Reportedly, he provoked the fatal incident by hitting the idle beast while it was asleep in a field. Onlookers tried to rescue the man from the enraged six-year-old circus elephant clutches by distracting it away from the injured man's limp and unconscious body with bananas but were unsuccessful. He later died at the hospital due to his injuries.

An admirer of ancient proverbs, he wanted to compose one of his own all his life, said a close friend who was present at the fatal incident.

"When he saw the elephant sleeping in the field," said the friend. "He stopped, turned to me and said, 'This is it. This is my destiny. I have finally found my ancient proverb. Quick, ready your pen and writing pad."

With that, the man just could not resist his date with fate. Witnesses report that the man humbly walked over to the sleeping elephant, apologized to it and then gave it a swat, much to the horror of the onlooking crowd.

Instead of running away, he bravely stood there looking down at his rhyming dictionary as the elephant rose up from its slumber, slowly turned toward the man, took him in his trunk and began swinging him helplessly about in the air.

All the while, the man calmly kept thumbing through his rhyming dictionary, trying to compose a verse for his very own ancient proverb.

He died happy, said the man's friend, who says he will always remember that blissful look upon his friends face as he shouted out to him to write down the proverb he was composing while still in the clutches of the elephant's trunk, ironically his final words.

"ARE YOU READY?' He calmly screamed out to me," said the friend, as he painfully recalled the incident. All the while, still in the grasp of the raging elephant's trunk. "Yes, I am,' I responded, with tears of joy running down the sides of my face. 'OKAY, HERE IT IS THEN: LET…SLEEPING…ELEPHANTS…LIE…OR …YOU…MAY…,' he said, then nothing more."

Sadly, the man never got to finish his final word, so his friend posthumously finished it for him.

"I just assumed his final word was die," said his friend. "It seemed the proper word to use and not only because that's what happened to him next, but because it seemed natural."

Unfortunately, the man may have died needlessly as the author of the old axiom, "Let sleeping dogs lie", has filed a copyright lawsuit.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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