What Does An Elephant & Mouse Have In Common?

Do you remember this African fable?: There once lived a colossal, clumsy animal named "Elephant" who had a thorn in his foot and a minuscule, fluffy, rodent named "Mouse" that was the only creature able to pull it out? Whereupon the moral of the story was things are not always what they seem. Recently, while an elephant and mouse didn't work together, they did accomplish something that didn't seem possible. Instead, they worked against what one would think is their nature to accomplish something amazingly similar.

Mouse Tip-Toe Through The Tulips . . .

When one hears 'harvest mice' one conjures up images of dirty rodents rummaging through cornfields to secure a largess of winter sustenance when pickings are more scarce. We imagine them nervously rummaging, with very little finesse.

Contrary, harvest mice are very delicate creatures who interact within some of nature's most beautiful flora.

These tulips give new meaning to the term 'flower beds' – as these diminutive adorable harvest mice curl up inside them. Despite appearing fragile, these colorful blossoms have enough strength to support their tiny visitors as they 'tiptoe through the tulips' – running up the stems to curl up within the petals.

Mouse in a TulipMouse in a TulipMouse in a Tulip

Photographer Miles Hebert in Britain said: “The mice love the smell of the pollen and climb inside the flowers to eat the stamens, often falling asleep inside the flower."

Elephant Tip Toes Over The Fence . . .

Similar to mice, elephants aren't necessarily the most nimble of creatures. Their massive size and slow, lumbering movements make they appear clumsy. Yet, this elephant appears to move with the utmost grace as she tip-toes over a farmer's fence in South Africa, one leg at a time.

This video posted to Facebook by Indri Ultimate Wildlife Tours of South Africa demonstrates how an elephant moves delicately. Here, we see the planet's largest land mammal tiptoeing one foot at a time, instead of our conception of them trampling down all things in their way.

All Creatures Great and Small . . .

A hymn first published in 1848 in Mrs Cecil Alexander's Hymns for Little Children. It consists of a series of stanzas that underscore the commonality that exists between animals large and small.

          All things bright and beautiful,
          All creatures great and small,
          All things wise and wonderful,
          The Lord God made them all.

I take liberties with one of the stanza that follows:

          Each little mouse in tulips,
          The elephant at the fence
          Nature made them high and lowly,
          And ordered their suspense.

Did you ever think one of the largest animals and one of the smallest had anything in common? And if so, what do you think is the common denominator?

For me, they've both got the moves like Jagger -- and  Tiny Tim too, in the case of that mouse who is no wallflower when it comes to partying al fresco.


Primary Sources: StoryTrender & The Dodo