An elephant must be taught when to sit down, when to walk, when to go fast, and when to go slow. You teach him these things as you teach a child. If you say ‘Dhat’ and pull him by the ear, he will gradually learn to sit down. Similarly, if you say ‘Mali’ and pull his trunk forward, he will gradually learn that it is the signal to walk.
     Kari learned ‘Mali’ after three lessons, but it took him three weeks to learn ‘Dhat’. He was no good at sitting down. And do you know why an elephant should be taught to sit down? Because he grows taller and taller than you who take care of him, so that when he is two or three years old, you can only reach his back with a ladder. It is, therefore, better to teach him to sit down by saying ‘Dhat’ so that you can climb upon his back, for who would want to carry a ladder around all the time?
The narrator was not only his caretaker, but also he was a good trainer. He taught him like a child. He used to train Kari a few signals to learn when to sit, stand, walk and run. The narrator used few words to teach Kari. They are 'Dhat' and 'Mali'.
Kari used to sit down when he heard the term 'Dhat'.
Kari sat down on hearing 'Dhat'
On hearing the word 'Mali', he knew that it was the signal to take a walk.
Kari took a walk on hearing 'Mali'
Kari took a few weeks to learn the words. He knew 'Mali' after three lessons, but it took three weeks to learn 'Dhat'. Kari was not good at sitting. An elephant must be taught when to sit down because the elephant grows faster than human beings. If the master or caretaker did not teach an elephant when to sit down, the caretaker should always carry a ladder with him. Whenever the caretaker wants to climb on the elephant, he should use a ladder for it. To avoid these kinds of problems, the caretaker can teach an elephant to sit down properly.
Meanings of the difficult words:
LadderA piece of equipment that is used for climbing up something
DhatA signal given to an elephant to sit down
MaliA signal given to an elephant to take a walk
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Bringing up Kari- Dhan Gopal Mukherji(7-14). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.