The Executive and The Fisherman: A modern day parable

Though not directly horse related, or original, I wanted to share in my own words a modern day parable that has been around on the Internet. I hope that you are happy to indulge me.

Horses for me have become a route back to mother earth and my true soul voice – I have tried to be many people over the years, but close proximity to these wonderful animals have proved that I am so much more than the people I might try to be,or allow people to suggest I should be. And as such this short story is such an important resonance for me; and if a few other people stop and think “Why?” then perhaps it might be the better for us, the animals around us, and perhaps this planet.

Anyway, to the story………..

‘A business executive is walking along a dockside in Mexico, he stops looking at his Blackberry for a moment, and notices a small fishing trawler tied up at the quay. In the trawler sits a local fisherman and on the deck lay three yellow fin tuna. The executive smiles and remarks on the excellence of the fisherman’s haul, and then asks how long they took to catch. The Mexican replies that it was really quite quick, to which the executive ponders and asks why he did not stay out longer and catch more. To which the Mexican points out that he needs no more to support his family.

“But what will do with the rest of your time then?” Asks the business man.

“Oh, I sleep in late; play with my children; take a siesta with my wife; and then stroll into to town in the evening, catch up with friends drink wine and play a little guitar”

The Executive looked down and assumed his finest boardroom persona:

“I am a Harvard MBA, and I can help you with your life I suggest. You need to fish more, with the extra money you can buy a bigger boat; those proceeds will then generate other boats. Soon you will have a whole fleet. As a major producer you will then be able to better influence your access to market, controlling your prices and cutting out others commissions. Before you know it, you can have your own cannery. You then control, product, processing and distribution. With this wealth you can leave this small village and move to great more prestigious locations, Mexico City and who knows. LA or New York where you can drive your ever expanding global enterprise.”

“And how long with this take Senor?” asks our fisherman friend.

“Oh, lets estimate around 15 to 20 years” suggests our wise master of enterprise.

“So then what happens?” – further asking from the Mexican

Now our our executive and elite market practitioner, raises his profile and utters the pinnacle of his advice: “Oh this is the best part. At the right time, we announce an IPO and sell public stock in your company. This will make you rich beyond your dreams, could make $ millions”. And he smiles.

“But then what will I do” questions the fisherman.

“Then” says the the business exec smiling, “you will retire with your fortune made, and you sleep in late; play with your children; take a siesta with your wife; and then stroll into to town in the evening, catch up with friends drink wine and play a little guitar!”


What else can I say?

I think my horse knows the answer!!


I discovered this story in Steven D Farmer’s book “Earth Magic” and this re-telling is based upon that.


2 thoughts on “The Executive and The Fisherman: A modern day parable

  1. I have heard this story before and each time I love it for it’s simplicity and how we elect to make what is pure, simple and good, become contaminated, complex and bad! Bad for our health, our family, our neighbours. It’s a great parable thanks for sharing. I just wish this had been read out each morning at school instead of morning prayers – can you imagine how enlightened we all could be from an early age. Time to stop rambling now! THANKS Deb x

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