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On opposite sides of a river valley lived two farmers with their families- one strong and young, the other a little older.  One day a storm rolled in, and the river flooded.

Their homes were destroyed- stone and wood scattered by the raging river.  Their loved ones cold and without shelter, both men were angry at the loss.  

"I will not stand for this!" the strong farmer cried.  "We have the right to live in safety and harmony.  We did nothing wrong- but the river struck us.  This injustice will not happen again- I will stop the river, destroy it, foul its course!"

He took his sons and prepared, collecting stone, timber, and tools to stop the river.

"Come, help us!"  He called to the elder farmer.  "The river is your enemy too."

The elder thought, then said no.

"What's wrong with you!" cried the first farmer.  "Don't you want your family to be safe?"

"Of course I do.  But I do not stand against the river."

"You would allow harm to come to our loved ones, then- you are either a coward or evil."  And the young farmer set to work.

He hurled stones into the water, built dams of timber, dug trenches, and labored passionately.  But the river flowed over his stones, pushed around his dams, filled his trenches.  After weeks of furious work, he was muddy, exhausted, spent.  The river flowed on.

Then he saw the elder farmer had spent his time building a new house- held up from the ground on firm stilts.  The next flood would pass underneath, leaving the elder farmer's family safe and dry. The strong farmer felt a wave of bitterness, clenched his fists, and began slinging mud.

"Look at you!" He cried up to the elder.  "You do nothing to stop the river.  By standing aside, you enable it's evil.  Condone it.  You are filth!  What do you have to say?"

The elder farmer closed his shutters, and replied.  

"The river is what it is.  I am too old to stand against what I cannot change.  Instead, I stand for dry safe homes.  ...Do you want me to teach you how to build one?"

The younger farmer became pious and irate.

"I stand against injustice, no matter what.  Even if you can evade the river, why would you allow its malevolence to continue?"

"I was planning on building a water-wheel."

"Go to hell!"

The young farmer stomped away, seething at the injustice of the world and its craven inhabitants.  He began thinking it fair that everyone should be equally dry, and perhaps such homes ought to be banned.  But his family left him to live with the elder farmer.

Because it is better to stand for something than against something.
Another parable that came to mind.
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If you want to read the short version, skip vision, originality, technique and impact.

Vision: It is short and simple but, who needs it to be large? There could be many ways to express the teaching of this parable. Taking the example of human vs nature was a angle to tackle the idea is both easy to catch and to comprehend for any kind of public (adult and children), and the same time deliver a strong message.

Originality: Well, this one was hard. Considering that by the time almost every single idea has been written is complicated not to relate this to anything and compared it. Commonly parables are in a fantasy context but this one is based on something is present in the daily life of everyone (If you don't believe me, search in internet where you get clean water to take a bath).
Also, these parable reminds me a little to one of the Bible... I think is the one of "The two builders". Nothing bad with it actually, just a mental note.

Technique: Here I go with another praise. Most of the parables where made long time ago and use a poetic/dramatic conversation between the characters. This parable counts with that. But... The old farmer, even though is a main character, lacks of strenght on the dialogues and story mostly talking through the narrator instead of having his own lines.

Impact: It went like a rail coaster: Up, up, up, up, up... And in the last line, you drop the bomb. The choice of words in the last line was clear, consistent and directly to the point. If the reader didn't catch the idea before, that last line help all the work on it. It was the cherry of the cake, or the mermelade of the hot cake... Alright, I should not start mentioning more examples.

In conclusion: Considering the idea behind the parable and the teaching of it, you wrote a clear reading, easy even for a child which is awesome (considering some people that get to complex on it). But for an easy and short reading, it does not loose the strenght behind it.
What do you think?
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Drangelu Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist

It's a brilliant story!!
THEKIDWITHAKNIFE Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014  Student General Artist
nknuds01 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014
That "water-wheel" comment really made me chuckle.
Lord-Kiyo Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014
Easy to see who has the brains.
mouseanderson Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Powerful and very true
BuilderJim Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014
Bravo. I definitely see how this parallels the problems of today.
Wyvernis Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Love this story Dave!
HugeWolf Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014
This could also be the win-win moral.  Instead of fighting something more powerful then you, work with it.  Let the river flood but benefit from it as well.  Rivers flood and replenish the soil we farm.  The flow of the water turns waterwheels that mill the grain.  But when we "tame" the river, we lose the nutrients that flow on past, the dams stop the power of the water from turning the waterwheels.  But now have a dry house, and dry dusty fields.
BanditRingtail3 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014
Interesting.  Though my one caveat is that many parables were told without the moral added on.  Least, that's my understanding.  I could be wrong.
ScottFraser Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014  Student Filmographer
Dave, I absolutely love this parable. Nice job on it!
Lollymote Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hm...  These parables are really interesting, but the final statement feels a bit vague, and may not entirely apply to the story (I normally don't point these sorts of things out, but you asked for critique, so.. bear with me as I attempt a critique of sorts).  In the parable, the river caused both men a loss, one chose to use the loss as experience and focused on rebuilding his house differently to protect his house in the future, the other got angry and focused on trying to destroy the river.  Something like "It is better to build with your future in mind than it is to destroy with your past in mind" could fit really well. ^^  The clearer the parable, the better, I think, since the current one could be applied to pretty much anything, some good and others very bad (example of a bad one: standing for tyranny, in which case a tyrannical ruler could be likened to the destructive river).

All in all, I hope my viewpoint helps you compose even better parables in the future! ^^
Dreamkeepers Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2014
Ooh, thank you for the constructive thought- I like the moral you developed a lot, nicely thought out.  Thank you for sharing some quality feedback.  :love:
LiquidMadMan Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
That seems to be a very good point.
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Submitted on
August 30, 2014


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