Marriage Of One

November 4, 2010

Of Monkeys and Men

Filed under: marriage — marriageofone @ 10:58 pm
Tags: ,

You wait ages for a post and then two come along at once!

Whenever I write for this website I’m reminded of a fable from India that I read when I was a little boy.

The story is of a young boy who worked for a strict uncle who was a rice merchant.  One day the uncle told the boy he had to leave the store for a few hours and charged the boy to look after the rice that was drying in the sun outside.  The boy sat outside ensuring that birds and thieves stayed away but as the sun grew warmer the boy felt drowsy and drifted off to sleep.

When he awoke he found that much of the rice had disappeared and to make matters worse, his uncle returned at that very moment.  The uncle was furious and taking a cane he thrashed the boy on his bottom.  The boy howled and ran crying into the woods nearby.  There he kept crying and whimpering long after the pain had gone.  Whilst he was thus crying the king of the monkeys swung down from the trees and asked him what he was crying for.
“My uncle told me to watch the rice…and I fell asleep…the rice got stolen…and he beat me! On my bottom!”
The monkey king furrowed his brow.  “So…you got beaten for disobeying your uncle?”
“Um…yes. I think so.”
“And does it still hurt?” asked the monkey king.
“No.” said the boy.  “But, but he beat me!” And with that the boy started wailing once again.
“I think I know what the problem is.” said the monkey king after a long pause.  “Your problem is not that you were beaten, but that you want to tell everyone that you were beaten”.
“I think I know what will make you feel better.” continued the monkey king.  “I will take you to my kingdom and you can tell all my subjects what happened to you.  There are so many that you will feel as though you have told everyone. Then you will feel better.”

The boy thought this was a great idea, so the monkey king led the boy deep into the jungle where he introduced him to 20000 monkey subjects.

“Friends!” said the monkey king to the monkeys. “Listen to this boy who has something important to tell you”.
The boy stood before the silent thousands of monkeys and repeated his story.
“My uncle told me to watch the rice…and I fell asleep…and he beat me!”
“Mmmm”, murmured the monkey throng with one voice.
Then there was silence.
“He beat me and it hurt” the boy said.
“Ah”, said the monkeys, looking thoughtful.
More silence.
“It hurt…and…and I cried!” the boy repeated, now feeling a bit foolish.
“Ah” said the monkeys again.
“There now,” said the monkey king.  “Doesn’t that make you feel better?”

And the moral of the story is that if you ever feel that you have problems, just pretend you have to tell it to 20 000 monkeys and you may find that perhaps you don’t actually have a problem at all.

Now don’t for one minute think that I am proscribing simian qualities to the wonderful readers of this blog site!  But I sometimes have to check myself to see if this tendency, perhaps narcissistic, to want to ‘tell everyone’ is really behind my need to blog.


1 Comment »

  1. A very illuminating exposure! It explains a lot about you.

    Comment by ToppHogg — November 5, 2010 @ 10:35 am

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