[This is the Children's parable I used for the homilies above, in the "breadcrumbs". I added just a bit to the original.]
This is an old Sufi parable. A wise king in India once heard his advisors arguing over the nature of God. He had six blind beggars and an elephant brought into the palace courtyard. Since he was a King in India, it was easy. He had blind beggars outside his palace gate the way we have homeless people at freeway off ramps and his wife kept elephants the way people in Oakdale keep horses.
He asked the six blind men to describe the elephant while his advisors watched.
The first blind man felt the tail and said an elephant was like a rope.
The second blind man felt the ear and said an elephant was like a fan.
The third blind man felt a leg and said an elephant was like a tree.
The fourth blind man felt a tusk and said an elephant was like a spear.
The fifth blind man felt the trunk and said an elephant was like a snake.
The sixth blind man felt the side and said an elephant was like a wall.
The King looked at his advisors and said "What did you learn?"
[I used this parable in two services:
What is Devout Unitarian Universalist?