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At the time, in the very embryonic stage of my exploring Buddhism, the idea both enthralled me, and made me cynical.
Same here - must be an old soul thing...! [budge up in the naughty corner]
I want to no longer feel the prick of the arrows that he sends me, but I want to see them flying through the air, and perhaps land at my feet... Is this too much to ask?
I imagine irl, I would be frightened if I saw a hail of arrows flying through the air towards me - small mercy that they land at the feet - surely it would be preferable not to be shot at.
A successful merchant owned a parrot who he was immensely fond of, almost as much as his three daughters.
His parrot he considered a friend such that he was placed in a gold cage at the centre of the mansion, fed the best food and lavished with kind attention.
One day the merchant was due to travel for business and as usual he asked his daughters what they wished for as gifts on his return. "Gold," replied the first, "Silver," asked the second and "Spices," from the third.
Knowing that his journey would on this occasion take him to his favoured parrot's home land, he also asked his precious friend what he would like by way of a gift.
"All I ask is that you please return to my place of birth, to the large tree where my fellow parrots live and tell them what has become of me, that I am living with you and well."
"Is that it?" asked the merchant, "I am a wealthy man and everything I have is at your disposal. Please don't hold back - I will bring back any treasure you wish for."
"This is most kind of you," replied the parrot, "but all I want is that you visit the tree and tell the parrots my news."
So the merchant went on his way and after he had concluded his business and procured the gifts for his daughters, he set off in search of the tree.
The parrot had provided sound directions and soon, the merchant found the large tree filled with parrots.
"My friends," he announced, "I am here from a land far away with news from your brother. He wishes for me to tell you that he is well and living with me at my extensive mansion. He lives in a large gold cage at the centre of the mansion and he is loved by all who visit. He is fed only the best food and the clearest water and his every little need is met day and night. He wished for me to tell you that he is well."
With that, every parrot in the tree falls to the ground, stone dead.
The merchant is perturbed and hurries home. His daughters are delighted with their gifts but his heart is heavy.
"Did you visit my home land?" asked the parrot.
"I did", the merchant replies.
"Did you find the tree?"
"Did you tell the parrots my news?"
"I did, but it didn't go as expected," said the merchant solemnly.
"How so?" enquired the parrot.
"Well, I told them that you live with me and that you're well and that your every need is met and without warning all the parrots fell to the floor dead. I was quite perturbed."
With that and much to the merchant's shock, his parrot keeled over and fell off his perch, stone dead.
Heartbroken and in dismay, the merchant removed the parrot from the cage and took him outside to bury but before he could even finish digging a hole, the parrot sprang to life and flew away to a nearby tree.
"I'm grateful to you for all your hospitality and kindness my friend but most of all for passing on the message from my brothers on how I may again be free."
With that the parrot flew away, never to be seen again.
I fear it may have been a mistake to post this.
Brought a smile to my face - he's delicious - best of luck.
@Zero why cotton socks? They are about the least breathable socks there are compared to other options that will keep moisture away from the feet, both sweating and in weather. I am sure they are better than say, dress socks or panty hose, lol. But there are so many more breathable, wicking socks.
Because I'm a dinosaur with a sock-draw full of cotton and only just heard of 'wicking' materials! ... thanks.