Short Story: John and the Swan

There was once a short poem that a writer told his subjects. The poem was recited under an apple tree, who’s fruits were meant to sublime and surprise its audience. The writer (John) sat under the tree and whistled out to the swans that swam on the water. The students asked the writer –

“John why do you whistle at the swans?”

John replied – “Because you see, they look so elegant above the surface, but underneath they swim hurriedly, flapping their feet about to get from point A to point B”

“I whistle at them to remind them to come out of their own shells.”

The students responded angrily – “But how will they understand your whistle’s significance?”

John replied – “Did you? The whistle was meant to get your attention to the swans, and not the swan’s to you or me. The swan’s looking back at me, was just a byproduct of my whistling”

Soon the students left, thinking that the writer was a fake guru who was conning students off their money.

They returned years later under the same tree and saw John whistling to the Swans alone.

The students asked – “You’re still here whistling like a mad man?”

John replied – “You’re still here asking me the same question, after all these years?”

The students didn’t say a single word and simply stared at this man who’s looking at the water and whistling at swans.

John turned and looked at the students, and smiled. He said –

“You’ve lived all your life getting from point A to point B, and when you look at someone who’s simply enjoying his time whistling at swans, you consider him to be a mad man. But ask yourself this, when will you ever get to Point B? Because your Point B is 100 miles in the future, while mine’s right here – whistling at swans”

photo credit: Birds at the Brent Reservoir via photopin (license)



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