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April 30, 2009
Tales From 57 States: Arlen the Flying Elephant
As His Obamaness came to the 100th day of His reign as POTUS, he was blessed by a marvelous sight when a flying elephant landed at His Palace.
Once upon a time there was a Senator named Arlen the Dumbo. Arlen got his name from a cartoon character from the Land of Disney named Dumbo, the flying elephant.
In those days the Realm of the 57 States was largely divided into the Clan of Donkeys and the Clan of Elephants. Although they looked nothing alike, sometimes it was hard to tell them apart. Such was the case with Arlen.
Arlen was called Dumbo because he liked to fly back and forth between the two herds. He would graze with the Elephants. He would graze with the donkeys. It depended on the grass.
Over time it came to pass that Arlen was seen as a strange elephant indeed, for though he had an Elephant's trunk and Elephant ears that flapped as he flew, he also had a Donkey's body and a Donkey tail.
As he flew back-and-forth between the two herds to graze for a time with each, the people of the Realm with nothing better to do would point to the sky and say, "Look, up in the sky. It's a pachyderm. It's a jackass. It's Dumboman."
Behold, over many years, as Arlen migrated between the two herds, there arose among the Clan of Elephants the thought that he was becoming more and more a jackass, such was the growing nature of his stubbornness as he grew long in the tooth.
Meanwhile, there came among the Clan of Elephants a young one who was bold to ask, "Does not Arlen looks more like one from among the Donkey Clan than one of us?" Upon hearing this, the other pachyderms looked toward Arlen, and behold, they saw that his trunk was shrinking, becoming the nose of a jackass.
One day the young bold one lifted high his trunk and announce that, "I will take his place in the herd, since he is more Donkey than Elephant."
When Arlen heard these words he was much distressed, for he had grown accustomed to grazing with both Elephants and Donkeys. But seeing that the pachyderms might ask him to fly to the Donkey herd and stay there, he decided to go while the going was good.
And so, as His Obamaness neared the anniversary of his first 100 days as POTUS, Arlen the Dumbo flew for the last time to the POTUS Palace where he became Arlen the Donkey as his ears became straight and pointed. He was now the jackass that he'd long been.
When this happened, His Obamaness was very much pleased, for it meant His royal herd was a Donkey larger. With much pomp-and-circumstance all the Donkeys welcomed Arlen into their Clan. Even Joseph the Odd Donkey, who had once been exiled from the Donkey herd for supporting John the Warrior in his effort to become POTUS, brayed his welcome to Arlen.
Princess Nancy of Wonderland, a place like Disneyland except with more hills, also welcomed Arlen to the Clan of Donkeys saying, "Hear me, all ye elephants. For I say to you - take back your herd and become donkeys like Arlen. For the 57 States need elephants that look and sound like donkeys. The Elephant Clan must be strong!" When she spoke those last words, she opened wide her mouth to smile and her teeth shown brightly, though her eyes remained dull.
Upon hearing Princess Nancy's words, all the Donkey Clan brayed loudly, with much enthusiasm.
But when the Steel Elephant, him who was designated among the Elephants to lift his trunk and trumpet a response at such times, heard her words, he said, "How is that we Elephants should now listen to advice from this jenny?"
[For an explanation of the title of this series see this video.]