Week 11 Day 2
Once, there was a little boy who lived in a tree near a pond of very clear water. Every night when the sun pulled up the edges of the land to go to sleep, tiny eels appeared swimming around the pond’s boundary. And every night, the boy would sit on the shore and gaze into the pool watching the
eels twist and turn around each other, bringing the edges of the pond to a rolling boil. Within this chaotic ballet, the boy noticed order. Each eel
knew exactly where their brothers and sisters were.
After many months of observation, the boy concluded that the eels churned the pond’s water to create confusion among its other dwellers the frogs, salamanders and small fish. And confused, they became tiny morsels easily plucked. The eels ate only what they needed and their water dance never disturbed anything other than the water’s surface.
The little pond was fed by a small stream. One night, while sitting in his favorite place, the boy noticed that the water was not boiling but rather frothing in a more than violent manner. He leaned over the edge to try and gain a better look at the frenzied waters. With his face just inches from the surface, a large lean head full of teeth reared up from the dark. Pulling back, the boy just missed being bitten. An eel had attacked him. An eel new to the pond for its head was far too large. His friends, for he did consider the little eels friends, had never shown any aggression towards him. They actually had curled around his hand when he would dip an arm into the pond.
These eels were new and did not respect the pond’s order. They roiled up the muck from the bottom, masking anything under the water.
In this blind state, all they could do was strike out hoping to catch anything. This would not do. The boy supposed these invaders had come from
the outside by following the little feeder stream. If his pond were to be saved, he then would be the one to take action.
The boy ran to his home in the tree and found his fishing net. It was long enough to stretch across the pond from shore to shore and still reach bottom. But, without weights, it would only float on top. For his purposes, the boy needed to sink the net’s bottom. And for this, he had the perfect solution, the carved stone chess pieces given to him by his father. The boy took first the pawns, then the military, church and finally the royalty, tying each to the net’s bottom with his strongest knots. They were just heavy enough to pull the bottom edges into the pond’s depths.
The boy then took the net and dropped its weighted end into the pond across from its feeder stream. Then, with one side of the net tied to his tree, he began to pull the net slowly through the water like a canal lock. His plan worked. The weave of the net was too small for the large eels to swim through, yet a big enough escape for the small eels, frogs, salamanders and fish. The boy drove the larger, clumsier eels across the pond to the feeder stream and with a few stakes in the ground, fenced them out.
The next morning, the boy saw the pond was clear once again. The net had done its job bringing order back to his little piece of the world. But, he did notice the larger eels waiting behind the net. They looked longingly into the pond with all its tasty morsels. The boy knew that as the steward of this tiny pond, it was his job to maintain the barrier keeping out those who did not belong. He also must never hinder the water’s flow – a balance necessary to avoid obliteration.