Oak crackles, evergreens blacken, a great fire consumes a forest. Scurrying upon some high branch a bird collects droplets of water from fruit dropping them from its beak onto the fire.
A panther approaches the bird, “You know you cannot extinguish this fire with droplets of water.”
The bird replies, “This I know but I do what I can.”
A gator slouching along a bank sees the fire and takes action, wiggling through water to the fire. The gator uses his open jaw as a shovel heaving water onto the fire.
The panther approaches the gator, “You know you cannot extinguish this fire with mouthfuls of water.”
The gator responds, “Just trying to do something.”
The bird and the gator continued their efforts in vain for hours until a great rain came and extinguished the great fire.
The panther once more approached the bird, “See, what was the point of your efforts, when you knew you could not extinguish the fire? You should have left it be.”
The bird rebuttals, “Rain may come, rain may not show, all I know is that I am that which I can control.”
The panther once more approaches the gator, “Why did you do something when doing nothing would have also led to the fire being extinguished? No flame lasts forever.”
The gator answers, “Sure, I could spend all my time biding along this bank and watch the world through my slits pass by as gentle breezes do. Or I could swim rapidly through the freshwater before me. The choice is my own. Yet I cannot decide to swim or bide based on what will or may come. All my slits see is what is now.”
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