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Stories from Home Series: A Chinese Fable

A Clam and a Snipe by Hilda Koon (Assistant Principal)

On a sunny day, a large clam swam to the bank of the river and opened its shell to enjoy the sun. A snipe flew over and saw it because it had a very sharp eyesight. It dived to the bank and pecked at the clam. Before the snipe drew back its beak, it was gripped tightly inside because the clam suddenly felt the pain and closed its shell quickly. The snipe shook its head violently to try to cast off the clam, but it failed.

The snipe growled, “listen, you clam, it’s not going to rain today, and neither will it tomorrow. Then you’ll die from thirst. So quick! Let me off!” The clam was angry too. “You listen; I won’t let you off today, neither tomorrow. Then you will die of hunger. Do you still dare to eat me?”

The snipe and clam were locked in a fight and quarrelled, and neither of them was willing to give up first. At that moment, an old fisherman came along; he was going to get some fish for his family. He was surprised by this unusual scene; the clam and snipe continued fighting even when he approached them. So it was easy for the fisherman to pick the clam and the snipe up and take them home for dinner!

The story tells us that when two parties are locked in combat for their own personal interests, it is often a 3rd party that will benefit and be able to take advantage of the situation.

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