Monday, April 18, 2005

A Porcupine Fable

"A troop of porcupines is milling about on a cold winter's day. In order to keep from freezing, the animals move closer together. Just as they are close enough to huddle, however, they start to poke each other with their quills. In order to stop the pain, they spread out , lose the advantage of commingling, and again begin to shiver. This sends them back in search of one and other, and the cycle repeats as they struggle to find a comfortable distance between entanglement and freezing."

I read this Arthur Schopenhauer fable on porcupines many years too late. Past a certain age one ceases to learn from fables instinctively. Learning turns more into an after the effect correlation of personal experience to wisdom such as this.

When I read Aesop's fables to J, I do not have to interpret for her or talk about lessons in morality. Like any other child, she absorbs on her own. Though the perfect age to learn through the telling of a fable, she is too young for this very valuable one about porcupines.

To tell her before she has been mauled by love even once would protect her from needless agony. Yet not having known that pain would leave her life's body rather light. Maybe for J when the time is right, a mother can quote E.E Cummings and hope she hurts just a little bit less for it.

"be of love(a little)
More careful
Than of everything"

3 comments:

Ubermensch said...

loved the last paragraph, ~*right* time? and *hope*

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Awesome. Totally loved this post.

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Totally loved this post!