I love the allegory of the 3 blind dudes and the elephant:
Three blind men were walking along a trail in the hills of northern Thailand when they came upon a strange smelling beast (terrible pun intended). The man in front reached out and felt the rough skin of the trunk and said, "be careful! It's some sort of large snake!" The second man had already put his hand out from force of habit and said, "you're crazy! It's some kind of very large and strange water buffalo!" The third man also reached his hand out, but grabbed the tail, saying to the second man, "you're mental, dude! It's definately just a snake...although, how our friend seems to think this little thing is something large is beyond me!" As they continued their walk in heated argument (they all agreed it smelled bad), the elephant thought, "what a neurotic breed of simians!"
And while I'm sharing stories about elephants in northern Thailand, some words of wisdom: when riding an elephant along a trail, make sure the people picking you up at the end of the ride don't happen to have any parrots with them or you may find yourself on the back of an elephant running and shrieking through the jungle.