Monday, November 8, 2010

A short tale from Haruki Murakami's After Dark

"Three brothers went out fishing and got caught in a storm. They drifted on the ocean for a long time until they washed up on the shore of an uninhabited island. It was a beautiful island with coconuts growing there and tons of fruit on the trees, and a big, high mountain in the middle. The night they got there, a god appeared in their dreams and said, 'A little farther down the shore, you will find three big, round boulders. I want each of you to push his boulder as far as he likes. The place you stop pushing your boulder is where you will live. The higher you go, the more of the world you will be able to see from your home. It's entirely up to you how far you want to push your boulder.' So the three brothers found three boulders on the shore just as the god had said they would. And they started pushing them along as the god told them to. Now these were huge, heavy boulders, so rolling them was hard, and pushing up an incline took an enormous effort. The youngest brother quit first. He said, 'Brothers, this place is good enough for me. It's close to the shore, and I can catch fish. It has everything I need to go on living. I dont mind if I cant see that much of the world from here.' His two elder brothers pressed on, but when they were midway up the mountain, the second brother quit. He said, 'Brother,this place is good enough for me. There is plenty of fruit here. It has everything I need to go on living. I dont mind if i cant see that much of the world from here.' The eldest brother continued walking up the mountain. The trail grew increasingly narrow and steep, but he did not quit. He had great powers of perseverance, and he wanted to see as much of the world as he possible could, so he kept rolling the boulder with all his might. He went on for months, hardly eating or drinking, until he had rolled the boulder to the very peak of the high mountain. There he stopped and surveyed the world. Now he could see more of the world than anyone. This was the place he would live-where no grass grew, where no birds flew. For water, he could only lick the ice and frost. For food, he could only gnaw on moss. But he had no regrets, because now he could look out over the whole world. And so, even today, his great, round boulder is perched on the peak of that mountain on an island in Hawaii."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment