All of the heavenly elephants were in a tizzy.
It was Wednesday, and a fourth elephant had fallen down to Earth from Elephant Heaven. Unlike the previous elephant falls, this one missed the vast oceans below and crashed in a rural village in Sub-Saharan Africa, killing a family of three. The small village, highly superstitious as most rural communities are, took the elephant crash to be a sign of the End Days and had begun to prepare themselves for the inevitable Armageddon to come. First elephants. Then maybe giraffes, or alien space-gods next. An elephant falling down to Earth opens the door to a lot of free thinking.
Elephant Heaven wasn’t in good shape either. Global warming had begun to thin the once stable clouds which formed Elephant Heaven’s floor. Things had gotten to the point where an unlucky elephant would step onto an incredibly weak part of a cloud and come crashing down to Earth. Heaven was beginning to lose its transcendental appeal. Something clearly had to be done.
A petition was sent to God directly, but petitions often took 6-8 weeks to process. Decisive action had to be taken in the meantime to minimize unwanted falls and subsequent second deaths that had befallen four of their own. None of the elephants in heaven knew what a second death would be like. Furthermore, none of the fallen elephants had returned to Elephant Heaven. This was a fact that deeply disturbed even the most pious of elephants.