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How the Monkeys Saved the Fish

The rainy season that year had been the strongest ever and the river had broken its banks. There were floods everywhere and the animals were all running up into the hills. The floods came so fast that many drowned except the lucky monkeys who used their proverbial agility to climb up into the treetops. They looked down on the surface of the water where the fish were swimming and gracefully jumping out of the water as if they were the only ones enjoying the devastating flood.

One of the monkeys saw the fish and shouted to his companion: “Look down, my friend, look at those poor creatures. They are going to drown. Do you see how they struggle in the water?” “Yes,” said the other monkey. “What a pity! Probably they were late in escaping to the hills because they seem to have no legs. How can we save them?” “I think we must do something. Let’s go close to the edge of the flood where the water is not deep enough to cover us, and we can help them to get out.”

So the monkeys did just that. They started catching the fish, but not without difficulty. One by one, they brought them out of the water and put them carefully on the dry land. After a short time there was a pile of fish lying on the grass motionless. One of the monkeys said, “Do you see? They were tired, but now they are just sleeping and resting. Had it not been for us, my friend, all these poor people without legs would have drowned.”

The other monkey said: “They were trying to escape from us because they could not understand our good intentions. But when they wake up they will be very grateful because we have brought them salvation.”

2 Comments

  1. Indeed, and so it was that good intentions became the pavement on the road to hades…
    But what is a good intention if not filtered first through the lens of self-examination, and ultimately, through eye of the subject of our goodwill??
    hmmm…maybe an illusion to Live 8??..;)

  2. Very deep, as always, Swoosh. Are you thinking that Live8 will be THE THING that takes Africa all the way down to utter destruction or the other way around? An interesting thought to chew on indeed. It’s always been my opinion that outside interference (even the altruistic, helpful kind) has been Africa’s biggest problem historically.

    Naturally, my one-track-mind thought the parable alluded to Christians insisting that salvation can only be attained by adopting their set of beliefs, but then I’m a bitter and hackneyed agnostic/episcopalian now, so…

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