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The Story Of The Three Fish:

Three fish once lived in a pond; a clever fish, a half-clever fish, and a not-so-clever fish. Life continued for them as it does for fish everywhere. Then one day a fisherman named, Noddy visited their pond.

Noddy was carrying a fishing net and basket and the clever fish saw him through the water. Recalling his past experiences and the stories he had heard from other fish, the clever fish decided to take action.

"There are few places to hide in this pond," he thought. "So, I will pretend to be dead."

He summoned up all his strength and jumped out of the pond and landed at Noddy's feet. The fisherman was very surprised. Unaware that the clever fish was holding his breath, the fisherman assumed him dead and threw him back into the pond. This clever fish dashed into a small hole.

Now the second fish, the half-clever one, did not quite understand what had happened. So he swam up to the clever fish and asked him all about it.

"Simple," said the clever fish, "I played dead so he threw me back in the pond."

So the half-clever fish immediately leaped out of the water and landed at Noddy's feet.

"Strange," thought Noddy, "these fish are leaping about all over the place!"

Unfortunately, the half-clever fish forgot to hold his breath and Noddy realized that he was alive, so he put him into his fishing basket.

Noddy turned back to look into the pond, but because he had been slightly confused by the fish jumping on to dry land in front of him, he forgot to close the flap of the fishing basket. The half-clever fish, realized the flap was open and jumped out, then flipped over and got back into the pond. He swam toward the first fish and lay panting beside him.

Now the third fish, the not-so-clever one, was confused by all the activity between the other two fish and the fisherman. He heard two versions of the story from the first and second fish. They went over every point with him, stressing the importance of not breathing in order to play dead.

"Thank you so much, now I understand," said the not-so-clever fish. With these words he hurled himself out of the water and landed beside Noddy.

Having lost two fish already, Noddy put the third fish into his fishing basket without bothering to look at whether it was breathing. This time he closed the flap, then he cast the net repeatedly into the pond. He did not find other fish, because the first two fish were crouched tightly in a small hole.

Finally, Noddy gave up. He opened the flap of his fishing basket and found that the not-so-clever fish was not breathing, doing as he was instructed by the other two fish. Noddy took the third fish home with him!

Note: An old tale, perhaps from the Naqshbandi Sufi Order.


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