This section of the book is from the "Stories of Animal Sagacity" book, by William Henry Giles Kingston.
It is seldom that an elephant can be induced to pass over ground he considers unsafe. Sometimes, however, a driver obtains such a mastery over a timid animal, that he compels him to undertake what his better sense would induce him to decline.
An elephant of this character was owned by a person residing in the neighbourhood of Gyah. Between the house and the town was a small bridge, over which the elephant had frequently passed. One day, however, he refused to go over. He tried it with his trunk, evidently suspecting that its strength was not sufficient to bear his weight. Still, the obstinate driver urged him on with the sharp spear with which elephants are driven. At length, with cautious steps he began the passage, still showing an extreme unwillingness to proceed. As he approached the centre, loud cracks were heard, when the treacherous bridge gave way, and both elephant and rider were precipitated into the stream below; the latter being killed by the fall, and the former, who had proved himself the most sensible being of the two, being much injured.
Let no force induce you to do what is wrong. All bad ways are like that rotten bridge. When others attempt to goad you on to do evil, tell them the story of the elephant and the rotten bridge.