There was a donkey, a turtle and a fruit-fly which lives only one day.
“If I had more time”, complained the fruit-fly, “then everything would be easier. Can the two of you imagine what it means to have only twenty-four hours in which to do everything?
To be born, to grow up, to get some experience, to suffer or rejoice, to grow old and die – all in 24 hours?”
“You’ve got a point there,” remarked the donkey.
“But I wish I had only 24 hours to live, then I’d give everything a try – short but sweet.”
The turtle looked at both of them and said, “I don’t understand the two of you. I’m now 300 years old and that would not be enough time to tell you of all the experiences I’ve had. They’ve just been too many. Back when I was 200 years old, I wished that my days would soon be ended.”
Then he turned to the donkey and said, “I envy you.” And to the fruit-fly, “I pity you.”
The donkey had then remarked, “When I hear you explain it that way, then I wouldn’t mind living 300 years of myself. Imagine it: having a chance like that to get a taste of everything in life – tasting long and intensively.”
Then the three of them fell into a long sad silence, because each of them had measured his life by a watch. And each wanted something else: either a longer or shorter life or a bit of both kinds.
So the three of them walked over to see a spider, who was famous as a guru, and ask her advice.
“Turtle,” she said, “stop complaining.” Who has had as much experience as you?”
“And you, fruit-fly, stop complaining too. Who has had as much fun as you?”
And then the donkey asked what the verdict on him was.
“I can’t give you any advice,” said the spider, “because you want both a long and short life. You are impossible.”
“You are and always be just a jackass.”
Author: Willi Hoffsuemmer
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