George and Mary (background)

Introduction [For Grownups]

George and Mary asked me to help them write a book to explain topic maps. It is more of a tale about how George and Mary discover topic maps but that isn’t a distinction that is important to elephants. Oh, yes, I forgot to say, George and Mary are both elephants and are dating.

My Elephantese is a bit rusty so there maybe mistakes or inaccuracies in my translation of their story. Any mistakes are mine and should you or any of your elephant friends notice any, please write to:

Chapter 1

Mary had one her best blue jumper and was waiting for George by the big tree near the watering hole to go on a picnic.

She waited and waited. Mary wasn’t very patient as elephants go so she went to George’s house to see what was the matter.

George was standing in his doorway with his computer in his trunk and about to hurl it into the yard!

George! shouted Mary. What are you doing?

George had to put the computer down to talk.

It’s broken! George cried.

What’s broken? asked Mary

My Computer, George sniffed. His eyes were red like he had been crying but Mary did not say anything about it.

Don’t throw your computer in the yard! It will be broken for sure! said Mary.

I don’t know what to do, said George as he leaned his head against the house.

I have our picnic lunch already packed, let’s go see if the wizard can fix your computer.

George looked a bit more hopeful.

So, putting the computer on his back, George and Mary set out to see the wizard.

(Insert map to the wizard’s house, it will have a legend but no explanation of the legend at this point)

As they get closer to the wizard’s cave, they see lot of strange symbols that made walls and even trees. George and Mary start to look a little worried but they push on.

As they get to the thickest part, they hear a kind voice say:

What can I do for you?

At first they could not see where it was coming from and then they heard:

Down here, I am not as tall as you.

They looked down and there was indeed the wizard!

He isn’t very big is he, George whispered to Mary.

I heard that! said the wizard. I may be small but I am not deaf!

Be nice George! said Mary, we came to ask for help.

What’s the problem? asked the wizard

My computer is broken! said George, as he sat it gently down on the ground.

The wizard turned it on, Seems find to me, said the wizard. Was it something you were doing with it?

Yes, I remember said George, The WWW is broken!

Really, hmmmm, said the wizard.

I don’t know, I can find pictures of Madonna, lots of Viagra ads,….

What’s V.., V.., (elephants have trouble saying V’s)

Never mind, said the wizard, it isn’t important.

But the WWW seems to be fine. Why do you think it is broken?

Were you looking for something?

George looks very bashful.

Mary, I don’t know either, what were you looking for George?

You can tell us.

George finally blurts out:

“A picture of my great-great-grandfather, George the Elephant, to show Mary.”

“Oh George” said Mary as she blushed. (Showing a great-great-grandfather picture is a marriage proposal between elephants.)

You try searching for “George the elephant” and you will see the WWW is broken.

The wizard tried Google, 9,000,000 hits.

George pointed out, the second one is some plastic elephant and later on the page, well, there are things about people who, who, hurt elephants!

Then he tried Bing, 16,000,000 hits. Same type of results.

None of this is about my great-great-grandfather! So the WWW is broken!

The wizard looked very thoughtful and said:

I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the WWW is broken, just like George says, but, the good news is that you can help fix it.

How? said Mary and George at the same time.

With topic maps said the wizard. Topic maps? Yes, topic maps.

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