So he goes on this monologue telling me why I want to avoid becoming the white elephant at the company.
He said, “it was too revered to be a beast of burden: the white elephant earned a reputation as a burdensome beast — one that required constant care and feeding and never brought a single cent to its owner.”
He came around his desk sat in the chair next to me and placed his hand on my forearm. “Remember,” he said, “one story has it that the Kings of Siam gave white elephants as gifts to those they wished to ruin, hoping that the cost of maintaining the sacred but voracious animal would drive its new owner to the poorhouse.”
He stood up and hovered over me, and with a trace of menace said, “you don’t want to ruin me, do you? Because I’ll turn a white elephant into a sacrificial cow.”
I should have left then.
“When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.”
— Margaret Laurence