22. A Thin Reed Survives Where a Great Oak Dies
An oak, torn up by a typhoon,
Went floating down a river soon--
Where reeds grew lithe and tall.
Astonished, Oak called to a reed,
You must be powerful indeed
To live through such a squall!
It isn't power
That helps us hour after hour
To live through wind and blast,
You foolish oak, you fought the wind!
Were you less stiff and disciplined,
You'd not fall down so fast.
From centuries of wind and
We've learned to bend and yield
not to strive,
So-- diplomatic to the core--
We lose some fights, but win
in the end survive.
MORAL: It's better to bend the rules a little when they begin to stifle life.
from the book Prayers and Fables and the forthcoming book Aesop's Best: 80 Fables in Verse by William Cleary