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  • A story from the National Storytellers Convention.

    A farmer walking in his field one day heard a small voice cry out, “Help me!” Looking around he noticed a snake trapped under a rock. Unable to move, the snake would surely die. Out of compassion the farmer released the snake who promptly coiled himself around the farmer, saying, “Now I am going to eat you!”

    “But I just saved your life! How can you do this to me?”

    The snake hissed in reply, “Life isn’t fair.”

    The rest of the story is a humorous discussion with the animals about the fairness of life from their perspectives. What interested me, however, was that the teller introduced the story by saying that some version of this story is found in virtually every culture around the world.

    Stories reflect life and the lessons we want to pass along to the next generation. So just what do we expect out of life, and are we expecting too much? Is it better to live life as a cynic and be happily surprised when we are treated “fairly”? Or should we expect life to be fair, knowing that we will be disappointed again and again? How do you finish the story?
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