Buddha teaches us
that to be a trainer
of elephants, one must have
five principal qualifications,
to be of good health,
to have confidence
and diligence in large measure,
to have deep sincerity of purpose
and above all else, wisdom.
Once must be nimble,
to avoid the foot of the beast
set at every turn to crush
those who are too slow
or who bend like the willow
in a strong wind.
One must be certain, for
the beast must know
that it stands before
its master, and must follow.
One must be diligent,
for the beast is slow to learn
and slower to yield its ways,
drawn from its nature.
One must be focused, must know
of what the beast must learn
and that it is for the good
of the beast and not the trainer.
One must be wise and think
with the mind of the beast,
for the beast, despite lives
of training, cannot think as man.
The man can move the beast
one step at a turn, if
such steps please the beast
and by such steps, slowly taken
both man and beast can tread
the noble path secure
in the knowledge that
steps on this road
have no measure.