Seven Parables and Stories for the Week: Issue 28

A Fastidious Dove

There was a fastidious dove who kept moving from one nest to another because it smelt foul wherever he went. He complained about it to an old and wise dove. The old dove remarked:
— Look, you keep moving from one nest to another but nothing changes. Doesn’t it mean that the smell that bothers you is your own smell?


A preacher came to a town to convert people into his faith. At first, people were listening to his sermons but then the crowd dispersed until no one was left. Although no one listened to him, he stood there preaching.
A traveler was walking by, and asked the preacher:
– Why do you keep preaching?
– At first, I hoped to change those people, – he replied. – Now I keep preaching only to prevent them from changing me.

The Pig and the Cow

The Pig complained with the Cow that people treat it badly:
– People like you more than me! People always praise you and say that you’re kind. That’s fine: after all, you give them milk and butter! But don’t I give them even more? I give them sausages, ham, steaks, leather, bristle… They even boil and eat my legs! And yet, no one loves me. Why?
The cow responded after some thinking:
– That’s probably because I give everything while I’m still alive?

A Sly Architect

A rich man called his personal architect and said:
– Build a house in a remote land. You can make it the way you want it to be. I want to present that house to a special friend of mine.
The architect gladly accepted the order and went to the building site, where there were lots of various building tools and materials already.
The architect was a sly guy, though. He thought to himself, “I know my job: no one will notice if I use low-grade materials or apply less stringent quality control. The building will look fine in spite of that. I’ll be the only person who knows about the minor defects. I’ll be able to fulfil the order quicker and earn some more money by selling expensive building materials.”
The work was done by the specified day. The rich man came to inspect the house. He looked at it and said:
– Well done! Now it’s time to present this house to my friend. He is so special for me that I didn’t spare tools or materials to build him a house. You are that precious friend of mine. I present this house to you!
God gives each person a task to perform in life and lets everyone do it freely and use as much creativity as one wants. Each of us will receive the house that he builds in the course of his life on the Resurrection Day.

The Kingdom of Chains

There was a blacksmith in a certain kingdom who made such beautiful chains that he started wearing them. Other blacksmiths liked it and started wearing chains, too. Other people, including the king and his court, followed suit. Soon, the king issued an edict on universal wearing of chains. Teachers would teach school children how to wear chains properly. Skilful jewellers made gold, silver, and gemstone chains. Chains became the highest award in that kingdom. There were tinkerers who developed new improved chains made of ultralight alloys. Scholarly conferences and symposia on chain-ology were held. Scholars even wrote a revised history of the kingdom to prove that its subjects had been wearing chains since earliest times.
Nevertheless, there were some people in that country who refused to wear chains. They were persecuted, thrown into prisons, and forced to wear special chains that caused pain. As they were dying, they bequeathed to their compatriots the following commandment: “Unchain yourselves!” Little by little, there were more and more people who followed that new commandment. Those who released themselves from the weight of the chains explained to everybody else that it was much easier to move.
Other people would nod their heads in disbelief and say that being different is not for everyone and go away, their chains rattling as they were walking.
Over time, the majority of the kingdom’s populace came to realise that it is possible to live without chains. The king issued a new decree that acquitted those who had been persecuted for refusing to wear chains. They even erected a monument in honor of those sufferers. However, many people did not have the courage to take off their chains because they had gotten used to them.

There were two holy hermits who lived in a desert. They agreed to plant a palm tree at the entrance of their cells to provide shade during the daily heat. They met some time later, and one of the hermits asked the other one, “You know, brother, I pray to God asking him to send rain on my palm tree, and He sends it. Then I ask him for the sun, and He sends it. And still, your palm tree grows much better than mine. How do you pray for it?”
The other hermit replied, “Brother, I simply pray, ‘Lord make my palm tree grow. And the Lord sends me sun and rain when it’s required.’”

The Jar of Life

Students filled the lecture hall waiting for the lecture to begin. The lecturer came and put a big glass jar on the table. The audience was surprised.
– Today I would like to talk with you about life. For starters: what can you say about this jar?
– Well, it’s empty, – someone said.
– You’re right, – the lecturer nodded. He took a bag full of rocks and started throwing them into the jar until it was full. – What can you say about this jar now?
– Well, and now it’s full! – one of the students said.
The lecturer took out a bag of peas and started pouring them into the jar. The peas filled the space between the rocks:
– And now?
– Now the jar is even fuller!!! – the students yelled.
The lecturer took a bag of sand and started pouring it into the jar.
– The jar is fully full now! – the students said.
The lecturer smiled, picked two bottles of water, and poured them into the jar.
– Now the jar is really full, – he said. – Let me explain. The jar is our life. The rocks are the most crucial things in our lives: family, children, loved ones, etc.; peas are less valuable things like clothes or cars; sand is the rest of our lives that is small and insignificant, all those minor problems that we have to deal with daily… So if I poured the sand into the jar first, I wouldn’t be able to put the peas or the rocks inside. That is why you shouldn’t let various trifles fill your lives and block more important things. That’s it for today, see you tomorrow.

Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds

Source: azbyka.ry/days