The initial concept, the first conversation piece; the Elephant is the root, the table, on which the rest of the physical world rests. Solid and ponderous, yet in parts flexible and full of grace, this is the world, and the world is a comment on the Elephant's being. The Elephant is the beginning and the common thread that will run until the end.
As the Elephant is the concept, the Elephant is all concepts. All concepts are of the Elephant, based upon its broad back. As the Elephant is the beginning, and the Elephant is everlasting, the Elephant knows all that has happened in its life. Each thing, in its distance of deviation from the Elephant, has its history written on the Elephant's hide. When a thing is repaired, it is returned to an earlier portion of its concept; it is brought closer to the Elephant.
The Elephant is heavy. It is density and weight, the singular impenetrable solid. It has the capacity for unmoving rigidity. It is meat, a mouth full- tactile, the stuff that is squeezed forever in the hand that never closes.
In order to train an Elephant, one must first learn to perceive that it is there. Thus, the would-be trainer reaches out and feels the Elephant in all things. She can feel what a given marionette is made out of (what form the String has taken in this world,) how heavy or solid it is, and how far it is from its original concept (or any subsequent concept in its history,) as well as the concept of the Elephant. The trainer may also discern how far and in what direction the nearest Elephant is.
By studying both the changes in and discrepancies between an Elephant-like form and its concept throughout its history, the trainer may now determine what transpired in that history. The trainer may also return himself to any concept in his own history. She may do likewise with simpler concepts, such as rock or mushroom. He may change the weight and density of any marionette.
The trainer may communicate with Elephants. A rock can be made more a rock, a tree more arboreal. Such things are, thus, clearer in feel, standing out from the haze of graduated textures. They may, too, be lessened, made less what they are until they are like ghosts; there for not reason other than that they once were.
New concepts may be brought into being; small, simple ideas. They are allowed to return any marionette to any concept in its history. She may change his own idea behind herself into either any concept or an Elephant. Note that a change in underlying idea does not change the expression of that idea. Such is the purview of the Wall of the Spoken World. Thus, if the idea behind a rock of a given rock is changed into the idea of a tree, the rock becomes a tree; a tree that to all perceptions is a rock.
Any idea behind something may be changed into any other idea behind something. The trainer may alter his own concept into anything she might imagine. He may replicate more complicated concepts. Elephants shall now do what she asks, so long as he's polite.