Snail and Vole

A story by Katharina Lamprecht

A vole watched a snail, which dipsy-doodled along a path and asked her: “Why do you crawl so arduously back and forth? Doing that it takes you much longer to get forward”. The snail sighed. “That’s true, but I always look on both sides of the path for something to eat. When I´m on the left side I keep thinking, that there might be better food on the right. When I´m on the right side I think the same and therefore go back to the left. I´m always afraid that I will overlook some yummy greens”. The vole understood perfectly. “I´ll help you. I´m a big taller than you are and walk in the middle of the path, that´s a good lookout. You can stay on the right side and in case I see something worth coming over to the left, I´ll let you know”. And in this way they went on. The vole saw many lush and juicy herbs on the left side, but it didn’t say a word. Because now, giving all her attention to just one side of the path, the snail found enough treats. After a while, as the snail discovered that she found enough to eat, she thanked the vole for the help and went on by herself. Just following her path.

Le nom sécret

Quand un enfant indien arrive au monde il reçoit un nom de ses parents. Ce nom n’est que provisoire, c’est-à-dire il peut changer ou être complété par un autre nom. De la part du sorcier de la tribu l’enfant reçoit en outre un nom secret qui est son vrai et propre nom et connu seulement de lui. Personne ne peut toucher à ce nom. Personne ne peut en faire un mauvais usage. Son vrai nom n’appartient qu’à lui. L’enfant indien reçoit aussi une pierre de la part du chamane. Si le sorcier meurt avant que l’enfant ait appris son nom de sa part, le jeune indien se retire à un endroit désert. Il reste à cet endroit jusqu’à ce que la pierre lui dévoile par un rêve ou une autre révélation son vrai nom. Dans beaucoup de ces pierres il y a des druses, ce sont des cavités avec des pierres précieuses. Dans d’autres il y a de l’or, et dans toutes il y a un enchantement curatif et la force du nom clandestin.

Margarita y Lucía

En la rendija de un muro vivían dos lagartijas, Margarita y Lucía. Lucía estaba todo el día echada en el muro tomando sol. Margarita pasaba la mayoría del tiempo buscando insectos para sí misma y para sus hijos. Cuando veía a Lucía echada en el muro, se enfadaba.
“¡Tú cómo gastas el tiempo! Si fueras lagartija decente, por fin te preocuparías del bienestar de tus hijos. ¿Qué es lo que haces todo el día allí arriba?” Lucía pestañó y dijo: “Recupero energía. De esta manera sí que hago algo para mis hijos.”
“Lo veo diferente”, gruñó Margarita. “Y un día te llevará el águila ratonera o el halcón.”
“Esperemos a ver qué pasa”, opinó Lucía y se desperezó en el sol. Margarita prefiría buscar presa en la sombra de los arbustos bajos. Pasaba mucho tiempo cazando hormigas. A menudo parecía cansada. Su vida estaba cada día más amenazada: Ya no tenía nada que contraponer a la rapidez de los gatos y a la de las comadrejas.
Los hijos de Lucía se volvieron fuertes y despabilados, todo como ella misma. Pronto empezaron cogiendo las arañas más gordas, los cárabos más rápidos y aun grandes libélulas. Pero lo que les gustaba lo más era echarse en el muro al lado de su madre y estirarse a la luz del sol.

Everything Else

In a land in our time there lived a man, who read a book and found lots of wonderful stories therein. There were true and invented stories, experienced and pensive, enjoyable and painful stories. There were stories which contained stories, and such which were actually not stories. For every story he read, there occurred to him nearly five which he had either experienced or thought up himself. So the thought came to him, that a lot in the world was a story which could be healing for himself and others; he only needed to absorb the healing stories well and to forget the terrible ones immediately. Then he would learn which story he had used when and for what. So he organised his own stories which he knew, and which had become a help to himself and others, or could become so. Sometimes he noted it down when a new story came to his ears and sometimes when a helpful story occurred to him, he memorised it.

Then he saw before him in a picture the storystories of this life arranged in long shelves, as in a large pharmacy. And behind the counter there sat a man who had learnt to listen to himself and others. He was a master of his subjectspecialty. His talent was that he understood how to tell the right thing at the right time to himself and to those who visited him.

Three weeks ago I was on the Festival of Nonviolent Communication in Bialobrzegy near Warsaw, Poland.
There I got to know Ike Lasater, a renowned teacher of Nonviolent Communication. Ike has been doing a lot of Reconciliation and Mediation work. Once he even worked with Romeo and Juliette and their families… look at this video and enjoy to see him work!

The Little Garden

Mr. Wright lives in Hopville at the river Gies. This is situated near Evenbrook at the Reed, close to the village of Lowfield. Every day, Mr. Wright works in his little garden. He hoes the ground and weeds out the dandelions. He plucks the dry leaves off the sunflowers and waters all the plants in his garden. Two neighbours pass by. They whisper: “Oh, look at him! Does this man have nothing better to do than to water his flowers all day?” The hobby gardener hears their words and says to himself: “I don’t deserve to be considered lazy. I have plenty of work!” The next morning, Mr. Wright gets up quite early. He throws himself into his work and puts in some overtime. He is very industrious. His boss is proud of him. The beautiful plants in his garden dry up however, and after a few weeks, his garden is full of weeds. One evening, he hears his neighbours passing by: “Oh, look at him! How this man lets his garden go to waste! It is an embarrassment for the whole village!”

The next morning Mr. Wright gets up even earlier than before. He takes his job very seriously, working hard without a break, all day. Coming home from work late at night he works in his little garden. While doing so, he hears his neighbours say as they pass by: “Oh, look at him! Hasn’t this man got four children? He spends no time with them nor does he support his poor wife in her daily work. He should be ashamed of himself.”

From then on Mr. Wright gets up even earlier. The break of dawn sees him working in his little garden, just before he goes to his company, where he works like a madman. In the afternoon, he helps his wife, and then he supports his children in any way he can think of. Dead tired he falls into bed. This continues for a while until one morning he does not get up any more. The doctor fills in the death certificate. “Myocardial infarction” he notes. Two days later the funeral takes place. His faithful neighbours also accompany him on his last journey. “Oh, look at him! He could have taken it a bit more easy and lived a calm and pleasant life. Why did he work so hard?”