Thursday, October 06, 2005

How to eat an elephant

This weekend, I was reminded that even vegans need to eat an elephant now and then. Particularly if the elephant has already eaten them. I was telling a story about a woman whose children are eaten by an elephant. To rescue them, she allows herself to be swallowed, and then she carves and cooks the elephant from the inside out.

I know another story like this, longer and more complicated, about a boy who becomes a halibut and then a monster whale in order to free his people from another sea monster. Layers upon layers of being engulfed in order to learn, become stronger, and ultimately become free.

Both stories hinge on a knife. The people who get swallowed without a knife stay swallowed. Those who take a knife with them, emerge. The Swiss Army have a point.

The question is not so much what you will allow to swallow you as whether or not you remember to take a knife.

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