Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/519

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MENTAL CAPACITY OF THE ELEPHANT.

12. Halt.
13. Ground arms. (All lie down, and lie motionless.)
14. Attention. (All get up.)
15. Shoulder arms. (All stand up on their hind-legs.)

In all, fifteen commands obeyed by the whole company of elephants.

It being impossible, or at least impracticable, to supply so large a number of animals with furniture and stage property for a further universal performance, certain individuals were supplied with the proper articles when necessary, for a continuation of the performance, as follows:

16. Ringing bells.
17. Climbing up a step-ladder.
18. Going lame in a fore-leg.
19. Going lame in a hind-leg.
20. Stepping up on a tub turned bottom up.
21. Standing on a tub on two right-legs only.
22. The same, on opposite fore- and hind-leg.
23. The same, on the fore-legs only.
24. The same, on the hind-legs only.
25. Using a fan.
26. Turning a hand-organ.
27. Using a handkerchief to wipe the eyes.
28. Sitting in a chair.
29. Kneeling, on the knees proper.
30. Kneeling on "fore-knees" (so called), or wrists.
31. Walking astride a man lying lengthwise.
32. Stepping over a man lying crosswise.
33. Forming a pyramid of elephants by using tubs of various sizes.

While it is true that every act in the latter part of this performance was not participated in by every one of the elephants who went through the military drill, there is no room for doubt of the entire ability of each individual to understand the meaning of the whole thirty-three commands, and to remember them all accurately and without confusion. The most astonishing feature of the performance was, aside from the perfect obedience of the huge beasts, their power of memory, which is without a parallel in the history of trained animals.

We come now to a consideration of the

 

Accomplishments of Working Elephants.

In all the timber-forests of Southern India every captive elephant is taught to perform all the following acts and services, as I have witnessed on many occasions:

1. To salaam, or salute, by raising the trunk.
2. To kneel, to receive a load or a passenger.
3. When standing, to hold up a fore-foot, to serve the driver as a block in climbing to his place.