HIFI Press Publishing

Written Things

Updates, ideas, and thoughts from HIFI Press.


Written Things

Ideas, thoughts, and updates from HIFI Press.


 

Dudes Down by the River

Dudes Down by the River
(A Parable on Alchemic Response)

A dude lived on the edge of a plentiful river. Every morning he would cast a line into the water, wait patiently, and then pull out a fish to eat. One afternoon, just as he was about to eat his daily fish, a wild baboon emerged from the jungle. The huge beast bared its teeth and demanded the fish. The dude knew that if he gave up the fish he wouldn’t have anything to eat, and he would die. He also knew that as a living thing, he had the right to defend his own life. So the dude and the baboon fought, their claws and fists and teeth clashing viciously. After a long battle that resulted in serious wounds, they both died. 

Just down the river, another dude watched the tragedy with great fascination. He too caught his daily fish and prepared to eat it. Just like before, a hungry baboon appeared and try to take it from him. This dude, remembering the result of the previous dude’s approach, decided to pursue what he thought was the higher ground. He gladly gave his day’s fish to the baboon. Every day the baboon returned, and every day the dude gave away his fish. The baboon was satisfied until the day the dude finally starved to death. Unable to fend for himself, he too starved.

Just down the river, another dude watched the tragedy with great fascination. He too caught his daily fish and prepared to eat it. Just like before, a hungry baboon appeared and try to take it from him. This dude, remembering the result of the previous dude’s approach, decided to pursue what he thought was the middle path. The dude found a sharp rock and cut the fish in half. He tossed half to the baboon and ate the other half himself. Each ate enough to silence their hunger, but not enough to nourish him. Day after day they split the fish. Eventually, they grew weak, became sick, and died.

Just down the river, another dude watched the tragedy with great fascination. He too caught his daily fish. Again, a hungry baboon appeared and tried to take it. This dude, remembering the result of the previous dude’s approach, decided to re-examine the situation without assumptions or judgement. He realized that the baboon was a living thing just like him, desperate to survive. He also noticed that the baboon was strong and capable. He explained to the baboon how they could work a large net together, each standing on one bank of the river, and catch as many fish as they could handle. They tried it, and soon their net was overflowing with fish. They each carried an armful back to their family and made sure everyone had a fish to eat. 

From then on, every day the dude and the baboon would meet at the river, smile warmly at one another, and work together to nourish themselves and their kin.


(Epilogue: Everyone downstream starved.)


 

Tom SadiraComment