King and the elephant

- What's this?! - He asked the king and poked a thick finger into an elephant. Animal reproachfully looked at the king and turned away. The elephant did not like to poke a finger in it. Even kings.
 - It? Elephant, Vashestvo - said the first minister and made a silly face.
 Thanks to this feature - to make a positive, honest, stupid person - the Prime Minister was kept in his post much longer than its predecessors, and the last five years - always won first prizes in international competitions held between officials of different kingdoms.
 - I see that elephant, not a cow. What's he doing here? - I asked the king again and poked his finger into an elephant. The elephant did not turn around - he was above it.
 - It is, Vashestvo - bent in a bow Prime Minister. Bow has been strictly verified to a degree, and portrayed an extreme degree of humility. The Minister was very proud bow - he was entered in the 24 textbook palace etiquette, I had 87 degrees, 15 medals, 7 honorary awards and one special mention in the annals of history.
 - I can see that it is worth. I would say - is a long time, judging by the state of the garden. Trees were more like before. I mean - what the hell animal in my royal garden? !!!
 - So, Vashestvo, under the status - honest eyes made prime minister. For this look, he received multiple standing ovations, and chairman of the jury in tears, jumped on stage to hug the undoubted winner.
 - By what such a status? - Surprised the king ...

Here I make a small digression. It should be noted that His Majesty was a former army colonel simple, pulled her strap back in garrison and did not expect a sudden fortune, fallen on it like a crown. Suddenly her gaining, after the tragic death of the entire royal family under the sprawling giant cake, the King delivered a stark fact of government. And though since then many years have passed, His Majesty still confused in all these wisdoms palace. And now ...

- By what such a status? - I surprised the king and the crown corrected.
 - At the Royal, Vashestvo - faithfully said the first minister.
 Devotion should make a splash at the next competition, and therefore prime at every opportunity polished and perfected it, hoping to make an unforgettable impression on the judging panel.
 - But I do not like elephants! And all the animals! I love peace, books and mint toffees! And animals ...
 - Understand Vashestvo, I understand. But what to do? Status. All neighboring kings there, and we do not have. Respect will not. They will say - what a king without an elephant? - And the Minister sadly wilted, depicting extreme humiliation (2 wins and 7 nominations at various competitions).
 - I do not want an elephant! - King stamped his foot. - And that's that!
 - But Vashestvo! How can the international prestige ?! - Alarmed the Prime Minister. The idea of ​​an elephant belonged to him. At the last meeting of the International Council of Ministers First he shook his hand for a long time and called a genius of the new formation. Elephants brought enormous income. But exceptions should not be. If one king decides that he can not do it without an elephant - and then think of the second and the third. That and look - his head will start to think! And there on the First Minister will refuse. It was impossible to avoid. The Prime Minister thought feverishly.
 - Spit! One lived without it, without this opinion. And without an elephant. And now we live for! - Said the King.
 - But Vashestvo! Look! Look at him! Look what his long gray trunk! And what's ears, tusks! - First minister hurriedly grabbed the elephant for different parts of the body, seeking to show that, without the king of the animal - not the king. - A look at what the legs which ...
 This faux pas was not able to move the elephant. His left hind leg raise and lower. There was a strange sucking sound. Elephant backed. In place of the Prime Minister had a big wet spot.
 - Brilliant! As I myself had not thought of! - I cried the king, in awe looking at what was left of the minister.
 - Drink you want? - His Majesty asked the elephant and gave him an opened bottle. The animal looked at the King, then took the bottle trunk and empty it into his mouth.
 - Man, and you give me a positive like you! - Slapped on the side of the elephant king. He looked thoughtfully at the crowned heads and, second thought, put on the shoulders of the king's trunk.
 - Yeah, man. Rights was late, as is right. We, the Kings, without you, elephants, anywhere. Come on, I'll introduce you to its treasurer. And lately ... - and the elephant in the arms of the king went to the palace.

© World Fiction (№29; January 2006)


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