Hermit Crabs and the Grey Headed Fish
One day a group of hermit crabs were walking up and down a sandy beach. A group of fish just offshore watched the little crabs as they walked back and forth. One fish said to the others, “You know, we’re a school. It seems that we ought to be able to teach these little crabs how to walk straight, instead of walking crooked back and forth all the time.” The other fish thought this was a great idea and soon they began to discuss how they could organize the instructions for the little crabs.
They decided that they would hold class once a week to teach the little crabs, and they began the classes on the first day of each week. They also decided to hold a follow up meeting in three months to assess their progress.
Classes began right away, and each week the school convened to instruct the little crabs. As they had previously decided, the school met three months later to review how successful the school had been and to see if any changes to the curriculum might be needed.
When the school met for the three-month review, all of the school agreed that they were not making much progress in teaching the little crabs. The little crabs seemed to take their instruction well and left each week after class walking fairly well. However, when they returned to class the next week, they were walking just a poorly as before. Members of the school exchanged numerous ideas and suggestions about how they might improve the school.
Finally, after much discussion, one old grey headed fish in the back of the gathering cleared his throat and raised his fin, asking to address the school. Since he was old and wise, the rest of the school were eager to hear his thoughts and gave him the floor. The old grey headed fish began to speak, and the entire school became quiet.
“You know, it seems to me” he said “that we are never going to be able to teach these little crabs to walk straight when we only have school for them once a week, especially when they spend the rest of the week watching their parents walking crooked.”
“but if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
By Max D. Fagan
Story created by A.R. Fagan, my straight walking dad.