Sticks and Stones

Old Man Raven was wandering down the river when he spotted a series of sticks, blocking it. So far, it hadn’t gotten to the point where it had overflowed its banks yet.

“Where will it go?” he asked. “When the river reaches its banks, where will it go?”

“There is no way of knowing.” said the People following him.

Amused, Old Man Raven gave them a smile. “It goes to the right.”

“But how do you know that?” one particularly curious youth asked him.

“He can’t.” answered another.

“Let’s throw some stones in there and find out.” said Old Man Raven.

So they spent the day throwing stones into the river, raising it, and when it overflowing, it flowed off to the right.

“How did you know?”

“Look at the left bank. The soil there is soft, squishy; it absorbs water. And it is slightly higher, more difficult to reach. The right is hard, it slopes; in other words, it is simpler.”

“What’s the point?” snarked one of the brood.

Old Man Raven pointed at the sticks. “That’s pain.” He motioned towards the stones. “That’s each hurt we throw at another.”

“And the river banks?”

“Where our heart flows.”

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