By Rohini Chowdhury
Once, three fishes lived in a pond. One evening, some fishermen passed by the pond and saw the fishes. 'This pond is full of fish', they told each other excitedly. 'We have never fished here before. We must come back tomorrow morning with our nets and catch these fish!' So saying, the fishermen left.
When the eldest of the three fishes heard this, he was troubled. He called the other fishes together and said, 'Did you hear what the fishermen said? We must leave this pond at once. The fishermen will return tomorrow and kill us all!'
The second of the three fishes agreed. 'You are right', he said. 'We must leave the pond.'
But the youngest fish laughed. 'You are worrying without reason', he said. 'We have lived in this pond all our lives, and no fisherman has ever come here. Why should these men return? I am not going anywhere - my luck will keep me safe.'
The eldest of the fishes left the pond that very evening with his entire family. The second fish saw the fishermen coming in the distance early next morning and left the pond at once with all his family. The third fish refused to leave even then.
The fishermen arrived and caught all the fish left in the pond. The third fish's luck did not help him - he too was caught and killed.
The fish who saw trouble ahead and acted before it arrived as well as the fish who acted as soon as it came both survived. But the fish who relied only on luck and did nothing at all died. So also in life.