Who re-Moved My Chains - the way change has changed, taking change as read

Photograph by William Albert Allard
Winston the elephant was still just a baby, so he hadn't yet learned. Long exercises each morning at the hands of the elephant trainers were exhausting and strange, but they never tired him out enough to stop him from trying to escape. The ground in camp was brown and bear, and all they had to eat was soggy grass that came in dirty buckets. He pulled on his chains every afternoon, working to get free. He longed to run in the meadows across the river from the circus camp. The grass and leaves there were rich and deep and looked so delicious!!!

     Gaspar and the other adult elephants watched Winston with patient sympathy. Burdened with perfect memories of every pull, every failed attempt and all the wasted energy, in every afternoon, through the weeks and months of their first years in camp, they knew. Winston wasn't strong enough to break the chains around his leg. In time, he'd learn.

     In the afternoons, the elephants were chained along the edge of camp, facing the river and the jungle beyond where it was said that packs of elephants roamed free. Small chains held even the largest of elephants in line, because of their perfect memories of the truth of the way things work: when a chain is around your leg, you cannot break free. Many weeks passed, many long afternoons of wild, youthful commotion and elephantine sighs: Winston pulling on his chains to exhaustion; the adult elephants watching with slightly less and less patience at having their quiet afternoons rendered unquiet.

     Morag was an old bull elephant next in line on the other side of Gaspar. He didn't like the constant disruption of Winston and his pulling. Several times Winston had upturned their buckets of dinner, leaving half of the herd to go hungry. He complained loudly to Gaspar that this nonsense must stop. Gaspar tried to argue that the matter would run its course in time, once Winston learned; but siding with Morag, the other elephants in line weren't satisfied to wait. Gaspar realized that it was time.

     "The chains are too strong, Winston."
     "Why don't you break them?!" Winston asked. "You are huge!"
     "Elephants can't break the chains that hold us."
     "You knock me aside with your leg, when you are not looking."
     "I'm sorry for that, Winston."
     "But, you must be strong enough to break your chains."
     "No, like you, we've tried. We could not."
     "But, try now."
     "There would be no point; we know what will happen when we pull on the chains."
     "Try just once; show me!"
     "No, Winston."
     Winston thought on this. He knew there would be no budging an elephant when it came to his memory. He'd have to think of something.
     "What if you and I pull on the chains together? Have you tried that?"
     Gaspar grunted somewhat angrily. He didn't like frustration in the ranks and could feel Morag growing surly next to him.
     "We can't break the chains, Winston. Others have tried that. I've heard many stories..."
     "But have you tried that? Have you tried pulling on the chains? ...with another elephant?"
     Gaspar had to admit the truth. "No, I haven't."
     Winston put his foot on top of the chain on Gaspar's leg.
     "We can pull together then."
     "Just once more. Try once more. Then, I'll stop."
     Morag trumpeted loudly and knocked Gaspar sharply in the ribs.
     "No, Winston! Stop this!" Gaspar said. "It's time for the elephants to sleep."
     "We must give the others peace, Winston!"
     Winston began to complain again, but Gaspar quickly pulled him in closely with his trunk and disciplined him sternly in hushed tones. He released him again.
     Gaspar's counsel seemed to work, as Winston looked defeated at the ground, kicking it several times and scraping it with his trunk.
     "Now go to sleep, Winston. Tomorrow will be a new day."
     Winston circled some, eyeing Gaspar, but then lay down his head and finally gave up.
     "Al last," Morag said, triumphantly.
     "We will have our afternoons of quiet returned to us!" the other elephants trumpeted.
     "Yes," Winston said. "I told you all, it would run its course. We can all get some sleep now."
     The elephants fell in line, one after the other, and slept content that quiet would return to the edge of camp, in the days, weeks, and months to follow.

via funpic.hu
     But in the morning, all woke a strange and unfathomable sight. As news spread of not one but two sets of broken chains at the end of the line, they saw silhouettes of two elephants in the sunrise's light, one large and one not so large, running in the meadow across the river, heading for the jungle beyond. How did camp elephants get all the way over there? the adult elephants thought, that never happens. Morag and others were even more confused by what they found at their own feet. They had never seen that before and didn't know quite what to make of it.
     Soon the trainers would awake, they decided. They'd know what to do.