This picture book takes its inspiration from a poem by Rumi which makes fun of a common tendency to rush to judgement before all the facts of a situation are known. When a Persian merchant returns home with an elephant, the villagers can't wait for daylight to see this mysterious creature and take turns to enter a barn where it is housed for the night. As each tries to deduce its identity by reaching out in the darkness to touch a part of its anatomy, their hypotheses are wildly off target. When daylight arrives they are still too busy arguing to notice the elephant when it is brought outside and where its appearance is appreciated only by the local children. The illustrations are in the style of Persian miniatures and portray the villagers in brilliantly coloured and patterned clothing of the medieval period, but their postures and actions are given an element of caricature to underline the ridiculousness of their behaviour.