Teacher

In one small fishing village there lived one unusual fisherman.

Nobody even knew his real name, yet strange rumors about him were shared among the locals. Some of them said that a great wiseman from the East was hiding behind this mask of the ordinary angler. Others claimed that even a single sailing trip into the sea together with him has forever changed their life. Finally, there were those who just called him as the old codger who has gone haywire, and all other rumors – as fictions of ignoramuses.

Once upon a time the traveler, who was passing through this region, became interested in stories about this fisherman and decided to see him eye to eye. The angler was absolutely ordinary by sight, having become fully permeated with the smell due to constant fishing.

– I overheard some people who consider you as a teacher of wisdom, and some – as a charlatan, – the traveler told to the fisherman.

– Life can teach everyone, but not everyone is ready to become one of its disciples, – answered the fisherman.

– Then what can you teach me?

– If you wish to learn how to catch fish, then tomorrow by sunrise I will be going into the sea.

Next morning both the fisherman and the traveler sailed together into a sea in a boat, alternately replacing each other behind oars.

– One who wakes before sunrise – enters fishing paradise, – the fisherman suddenly broke long-lasting silence.

– He who wakes at six o’clock – is a sleepy, foolish dork! – bitterly grinned the traveler.

– Sometimes what you look for can be very far from you. And sometimes so very near, – continued the fisherman. – Stop right here.

– There shouldn't be any fish here, – the traveler answered him perplexedly. – We didn’t sailed far away from the coast.

– Having not sailed away from an old coast, you cannot see a new one, – meanwhile continued the interlocutor, having ignored this remark and preparing his fishing nets.

– I have already heard all of this before! – sarcastically answered the traveler. – But it’s definitely a bad idea to try fishing at this spot!

– Not everything that glitters is gold. Not everything that floats is fish, – indifferently continued the fisherman, exempting fishing nets from the plastic garbage that was caught inside it.

– Oh, well, – the traveler noticed sadly. – This is truly banal.

– You can’t pull a fish out of a pong without labor, – continuing to completely ignore any remarks coming from the traveler, the fisherman uttered his yet next wisdom, dropping cleaned from garbage fishing nets into the waters.

– Wow, you have just opened me the truth of where crayfish are dwelling! – venomously noticed the traveler. – It seems to me that you are indeed that type of odd fellow as others described you.

– If you feed a man with fish, he will be sated for one day. But if you teach him how to catch fish…

– That’s enough! – cried the traveler. – I am tired of this nonsense! These are absolute and well-known banalities, whether no one ever told this to you?!

– Never-ever you say “never”, – came a reply. – What day is it today? Is it Wednesday, can you say? – decided to inquiry the fisherman.

– It’s Friday! – replied the angry traveler, spitting out into waters.

– Good for food, – the fisherman hemmed with satisfaction and took out a third oar somewhere from the bottom of a boat.

– Perhaps we had better sail away from here, aye? – the traveler frowningly looked at the fisherman. – I have already heard plenty of your idiotic banalities and got fed up with them!

– If you feed a man with fish…

– You have just said exactly that, you old fool! – the traveler became enraged. – What, do you have memory problems?! Who in the hell suggested me to agree to this trip in particular and even to meet with you in general…

– … the man won’t even think of thanking you for that. He won’t like either the appearance of the fish, or its color, or its smack, or the way its scales glint in the sun. Instead of gratitude he will scorn you and talk scandal into your account even though you thought of nothing else but saving him from a hunger. And if instead you feed fish with a man…

With these words all of a sudden the fisherman knocked the traveler flatwise on the head with a third oar, throwing him overboard.

 – … then he will keep silence like the fish out of modesty! – the fisherman burst out laughing, stretching an oar to the floundering and spitting traveler. – The lesson of patience will follow the lesson of humility. We’ll have to cuckoo here for at least ten hours. It’s indeed a bad fishing spot, – he added.