The Foolish Man with the Coconuts
There was once a man who did not know what job he could do to earn a living. He decided to try fishing, so he went to the river to catch some fish. When he got to the river, after he got off his horse, he realized that he did not have a net or a fishing rod.
He had a bamboo basket, but every time he dipped it in the water, the holes in the basket were too large to catch any fish. So, he got back onto his horse and was about to return home to find a rod or a net when he noticed that there were many coconut trees by the riverside with lots of coconuts which had fallen all around the trees. He quickly gathered dozens of coconuts because he was eager to go and sell them in the market in the nearest city before the market closed. He had loaded all the coconuts into his basket and got on his horse when he realized he did not know his way to the market. Luckily, he saw a boy and a girl walking toward the river to fish. Unlike the man, the children came well prepared. The girl had a fishing rod, while the boy had a fishing net.
So, he went to ask them the direction to the market. After they told him how to get there, he asked them how long it would take him to get there.
“It depends on you,” the girl said after seeing his coconut pile.
“What do you mean?” The man was impatient to get to the market.
“If you go too fast, it will take you a long time to get there,” the boy tried to explain, but the man had lost patience and was already riding away. He thought the children’s answers were too foolish and did not want to waste any more time with them.
He got on his horse and gave it a quick kick on the sides to make it go faster. He didn’t get too far before the coconuts fell to the ground along with the basket. He got off, picked them up quickly, and returned to the horse.
Again, he hurried the horse along, and of course, the coconuts fell again, and because the path was steep, the man wasted a long time gathering the coconut. Unfortunately, because he was so foolish, he still did not learn his lesson or remember what the children said. He just wanted to get to the market fast. The foolish man kept going fast and kept stopping to pick up the coconuts each time they fell. By the time he got to the market, it had closed. Only then did it occur to him that if he had ridden slowly, he would not have had to keep stopping to pick up the coconuts, and he would have gotten to the market sooner.