Some years ago a soldier, stationed at Pondicherry, formed a friendship with an elephant, to whom he used to give a portion of his daily allowance of liquor. One day the soldier, getting tipsy, and being followed by the guard, ran to hide himself behind the elephant, under whose body he was in a few minutes fast asleep. The guard approached to seize the delinquent, but, though the keeper assisted the soldiers, the elephant would allow no one to come near him, and kept whirling his trunk about in a way which showed that he was determined to protect his charge at all costs.

What was the soldier’s horror next morning, when, looking up, he found the huge animal standing over him! One step of his monstrous feet, and his life would have been crushed out. If he did not then and there resolve to abjure intoxicating liquor for the future, he deserved to be less fortunate another time. As he crawled out, the elephant evidently perceived the terror he was in, and, to reassure him, caressed him gently with his trunk, and signified that he might go to his quarters. The animal now seeing his friend in safety, suffered his keeper to approach and lead him away.

Gratitude prompted the elephant to protect his erring friend. How sad to think that human beings are so often less grateful to those from whom they have received benefits!