A Strange Kurdish Parable

I love this story. Although I’m not utterly sure I know what it means, I can certainly think of times that it would have been appropriate. Jonathan Dworkin guest blogging at Political Animal tells a Kurdish parable:

A man is crazy. He believes he is a flower and birds are trying to eat him. A doctor takes him to the hospital. After months of treatment he improves. “I am not a flower,” he tells himself. As he is walking home from the hospital he looks up at the sky. “I know I am not a flower,” he thinks. “But those birds still want to eat me. How do I convince them that I am not a flower?”

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3 Responses to A Strange Kurdish Parable

  1. Victoria says:

    There’s a Stalin-era Soviet joke that’s very, very similar:

    A rabbit is running away, trying to hide deep in the woods, when the other animals ask where he’s going. “Haven’t you heard?” he asks. “Stalin is going on a bear hunt.”

    “But you’re not a bear, you’re a rabbit.”

    “Yes, but I can’t prove it.”

  2. Vance Maverick says:

    The problem is that, even if he convinces the birds that he’s not a flower, they’ll still want to eat him.

  3. svejk says:

    He only thought he was a flower because birds were trying to eat him. He didn’t need a hospital; he needed someone to ask him the right questions, and listen to the answer.

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