The duck and the cat

By Paulo Coelho

‘How did you enter the spiritual life?’ asked a disciple of the Sufi master Shams Tabrizi.

‘My mother said that I wasn’t mad enough for the madhouse or holy enough for the monastery,’ replied Tabrizi. ‘So I decided to devote myself to Sufism, in which we learn through free meditation.’

‘And how did you explain that to your mother?’

‘By telling her the following fable: someone placed a duckling in the care of a female cat. He followed his adoptive mother everywhere; then, one day, they came to the edge of a lake. The duck immediately plunged into the water, while the cat called out from the shore:

‘Come out of there at once, you’ll drown!’

And the duckling replied:

‘No, I won’t, Mama, I’ve discovered what is good for me and I know that I’m in my element. And I’m going to stay here even though you don’t understand what a lake is for.’

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Comments

  1. What a wonderful message!
    Freedom! Our greatest treasure is the Freedom of our inner nature, for sure! And it's amazing when we're able to discover that!

    Thank you, Paulo!
    Atma Namaste, Beautiful Soul!
    Love & Light!

    Marta :)

  2. Celia says:

    My dearest precious Paulo,

    The message here is clear,

    There comes a time in our lives at some point, that we must break away, and become ourselves, regardless of who nurtured us and who our teachers were.

    Beautifully told..

    Love, love, love

    Celia

    xxxx

  3. Izz says:

    In fact, I like this story better in hind thought because it reminds me very much of Athena, the protagonist from The Witch of Portobello.

  4. Izz says:

    This is most interesting. We all are little ducklings that must find our elements and float in them. Let them embrace us as we in turn embrace them. That way, it means we will all be living on the path of our dream. With that, I don’t see why this world would not be a happier place with less depressed people.

    May the mother cat allow us all to follow find our elements.

  5. What a wonderful message!
    Freedom! Our greatest treasure is the Freedom of our inner nature, for sure! And it’s amazing when we’re able to discover that!

    Thank you, Paulo!
    Atma Namaste, Beautiful Soul!
    Love & Light!

    Marta :)

  6. bruja says:

    I like the idea of free meditation, even if it already have a name, like Sufism, wich i dont know. What is happening in my head? My mind used to be quiet and simple and now impels me to use words. Written words, in english. It brings simplicity to what i express, wich is already simple. I like it.

  7. again this lovely story is a translation of deep marks in my soul, written with symbols of pain and agony…

    being different than my parents, than my whole surrounding
    follow my dreams in despite of their traditional thinking
    explore what i feel that i belong to
    and even realize this dream ….

    realizing a dream is a dream by itself

    i am called a freak just because i wanna be me
    i wish to become a writer and i fear signing with my name so i wont be criticized …

    you know what!!! :) i truly wish i was a little duckling