The Blind Men and the Elephant is a story of a group of blind men who touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each concludes that the elephant is like a wall, snake, spear, tree, fan or rope, depending on where they had touched. Their heated debate is never resolved.
Re-telling this Eastern parable, an American poet, John Godfrey Saxe, introduced the story to a Western audience in 1872. The poem is the poet's best remembered work.