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  • Writer's pictureJoyce Slater

Story of the Month: Alive or Dead, an Aesop Fable

A mischievous young man wanted to mock a wise elder by tricking him. The young man took a small sparrow in his hand and hid it behind his back.


“Old man, if you are so wise, can you tell me if what I have in my handis alive or dead?”


He knew if the wise old man said, “Alive.” He would crush the sparrow and present it dead. If the wise old man said, “Dead.” The young man would present the sparrow alive.


The wise old man, recognized the mischievous young man’s intentions and replied, “Whether it is alive or dead depends on you.”

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