“Why in the world do you walk sideways like that?” said a Mother Crab to her son. “You should always walk straight forward with your toes turned out.”
“Show me how to walk, mother dear,” answered the little Crab obediently, “I want to learn.”
So the old Crab tried and tried to walk straight forward. But she could walk sideways only, like her son. And when she wanted to turn her toes out she tripped and fell on her nose.
Source: The Aesop For Children: Top 100 Childrens Classics
(CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Children’s Classics edition, 2014) page 11
- Do not tell others how to act unless you can set a good example.
- Your actions speak so loud I cannot hear what you’re saying.
- The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer. -Matthew 23:1-3
A merchant who owned a donkey heard that salt was cheaper by the seashore, so he decided to go into the salt business. He went and loaded his donkey with salt and then headed back home. At a certain moment, the donkey accidentally lost his footing and fell straight into a stream. This caused the salt to dissolve, making his load lighter. The donkey was thus able to rise easily to his feet and enjoy a less taxing journey home. The merchant sold what was left of the salt and led the donkey back again to load him with an even greater cargo than before. As the donkey made his way with difficulty back to the stream where he had fallen before, he sank to his knees on purpose this time. Then, after his cargo had dissolved in the water, he leaped nimbly to his feet, delighted to have turned the situation to his advantage, or so he thought. The merchant realized what was happening and decided that the next time he would bring back home a big load of porous sponges. On their way back across the stream, the wicked donkey fell down on purpose as before. This time the sponges grew heavy with water and the cargo expanded. As a result, the donkey had to carry a burden that was twice as heavy as it had been to begin with.
Source | Aesop’s Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs.
(Oxford University Press, 2002) page 78
Here’s a slightly different version
A Salt Merchant drove his Donkey to the seashore to buy salt. His road home lay across a stream into which his Donkey tripped and fell by accident. When the Donkey got out of the water, his load considerably lighter, as the water melted the salt in the sack.
The Merchant went back to the market by the seashore and refilled his bags with a larger quantity of salt than before. When he came again to the stream, the Donkey fell down on purpose in the same spot, and, regaining his feet with the weight of his load much diminished, brayed triumphantly as if he had obtained what he desired.
The Merchant saw through this trick and drove the Donkey for the third time to the coast, where he bought a cargo of sponges instead of salt. The Donkey, again playing the fool, fell down on purpose when he reached the stream, but the sponges became swollen with water, greatly increasing his load. Thus his trick recoiled on him, for he now carried on his back a double burden.
It often happens that the same things which brought us luck can also get us into trouble.
Once two friends were walking down the sidewalk on a busy street during rush hour. There were all sorts of noise in the city; car horns honking, feet shuffling, people talking! And amid all the noise, one of the friends turned to the other and said, “I hear a cricket.”
“No way,” her friend responded. “How could you hear a cricket with all of this noise? You must be imagining it. Besides, I’ve never seen a cricket in the city.”
“No really, I do hear a cricket. I’ll show you.” She stopped for a moment, then led her friend across the street to a big cement planter with a tree in it. Pushing back the leaves she found a little brown cricket.
“That’s amazing!” said her friend, “You must have a super-human hearing. What’s your secret?”
“No, my hearing is just the same as yours. There’s no secret,” The first woman replied. “Watch, I’ll show you.” She reached into her pocket, pulled out some loose change, and threw it on the sidewalk. Amid all of the noise of the city, everyone within thirty feet turned their head to see where the sound of the money was coming from.
“See,” she said. “It’s all a matter of what you are listening for.”
Source | Elisa Davy Pearmain,
Doorways to the Soul: 52 Wisdom Tales from Around the World, page 14.
PONDER AND CONSIDER
- I am learning that silence is not the absence of noise but the refined tuning of the soul to the sounds and movements that usually go unnoticed.
- What are you listening for in your life?