Artemis looked accusingly as Zeus, it was the third time this century that she had bought up the pollution problem and each time he had evaded her demands.
"I realise that your approach has become a bit more laissez faire over the last couple of millennium but it really is time we stepped in. War ravages so many lands and peoples, their thirst for resources is destroying the last of my wilderness, and the filth and waste they churn out is taking it's toll on the whole planet."
"So what are you suggesting?" Zeus retorted angrily, he didn't much like anyone questioning his policy decisions. "They have their 'free will', it's no longer my responsibility."
"How about a message, a sign that can't be ignored," suggested Hera, trying to keep the peace. "It wouldn't be like any kind of direct action."
"It's got to be pretty big though." Hermes joined in, warming to the idea. "What's the most massive creature we've got?"
"An elephant," said Artemis, enjoying having some support for a change. "Human beings have a soft spot for elephants anyway. But we have to make a bit different, we don't want them thinking they've had a visit from Ganesha or the Hindus will just think they've won."
"Ok," said Zeus, "I'll just give him some wings, that way he can fly himself down there and arrive in style, visit all the important people and then fly himself back again, I mean we can't just leave a winged elephant wandering around on earth can we."
So the giant beast was adorned with wings and dispatched to proclaim his message to the people of earth. He landed amongst the factories and chimneys of the industrial countries. He raised his trunk and trumpeted his warning, urging the humans to give up their destructive ways and turn to peace and cooperation with their planet. But in their eagerness the gods had forgotten to give him the power of speech ... so his voice went unheeded, his warnings misunderstood. The humans took him for a freak of nature and stuffed him for posterity, so their children's children's children could see what an elephant used to look like.
(Linking back to Magpie Tales 85)