Parable of the Plow Horse and the Chimera
Once upon a time, there was a farmer with a plow horse. Every day, the farmer and the horse worked together to grow crops.
The work was hard, but they produced lots of food. Some they ate. Some they sold and made money to use to buy other things they needed. All in all, they had a pretty good life.
One day, the farmer's friends told him about a chimera that had been seen in the nearby hills. (Fortunately, it wasn't ferocious like most of its kind.) Many of his friends went out to see it.
Some said it looked funny. Others thought it looked scary. Everyone said it was the most interesting thing they'd ever seen.
As word spread, visitors would come from far and near to see the magical beast.
One day, when the crops were planted and watered, the farmer set the plow horse free to graze and walked out into the hills to see the chimera. Just as he came upon the place where it played during the day, rain began to fall. The chimera left the field and entered the woods in search of shelter. The trees helped, but weren't thick enough to keep it completely dry.
As the farmer watched the chimera mope under the trees, he got an idea.
The next day, he hooked up the plow horse and plowed part of his field under. Then he cut down some trees, had the horse drag them back to the plowed part of the field, and used them to build a hut and several gazebos.
The next time the skies looked like rain, the farmer took some food out to the hills and used it to lure the chimera back to his farm. As rain began to fall, the chimera took shelter in the hut, where it found more food waiting.
From then on, the chimera spent most of its time at the farm. People came from far and near to see it. For a small admission fee, they were allowed onto the land, where from the comfort of the gazebos, they watched the chimera frolic.
The farmer and horse continued to farm the part of the land that hadn't been plowed under (which shrank a little over time :-), partly for the love of labor, and partly to grow food to sell to their visitors.
The farmer, the horse, and the chimera lived happily ever after off the admission fees and proceeds from the concession stand.
Lessons from this parable:
- Nobody gets paid to show off a wild chimera.
- Hard work is good. Smart work is even better, but it still takes work.
- If you've got a chimera, fantastic. But it takes work to get and maintain one.