Now We Are Seven*
It was six men of Hindustan
To learning much inclined
Who went to see an elephant,
(Though all of them were blind)
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The first approached the elephant
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl,
"God bless me, but an elephant
Is very like a wall."
The second, feeling but the tusk
Cried, "Ho, what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me, 'tis mighty clear,
This wonder of an elephant
Is very like a spear."
The third approached the animal
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake,
"I see," quoth he, "the elephant
Is very like a snake."
The fourth stretched out an eager hand
And felt about the knee
"What most this wondrous beast is like,
Bean WB. On Ambiguity. Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(1):2-5. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860010048002