A RAKE that lived in a garden once was very lazy, and every time her turn came to clean up the yard, she constantly came up with excuses to postpone it. And so, days passed, seasons even, until one fine Autumn day that she woke up, she found herself covered with all sorts of tree leaves that had fallen from the trees.
“You are even lazier than me”, a donkey that was lying next to her told her. He, then, stood on his feet, got rid of the leaves that were covering him, and showed her the garden that was covered with so many leaves that one could barely walk through it.
“I can’t possibly stand being called lazy by… a donkey”, the rake complained, and thought of proving him wrong.
So, she started cleaning the leaves one – by – one, placing them in a big black trash bag which she put in the middle of the garden. After sweating all over, and many hours later, she finally thought of taking a break. Much to her relief, she realized she had almost finished the task and that only a few leaves were left for her to collect.
“I did it!”, she shouted at the donkey and summoned him over to show him her achievement. He agreed that she had indeed done a great job. Yet no sooner had he sat down next to her than the wild wind blew, tossing each and every leaf that was left on the trees to the ground. She was deeply disappointed when she realized that she would have to clean up all over again.
In her panic, she started doing all sorts of acrobatic tricks to catch the leaves before they even touched the ground. Yet, the more she stretched, the wilder the wind blew and tossed even more leaves on the ground with force. So stubborn was she, however, that she kept trying to catch them. In vain, as the leaves were so many that she eventually lost count. At some point, and realizing her quest was getting her nowhere, she shouted at the trees: “It’s unfair, I quit!”.
Then, they laughed at her for being lazy all the time, and blamed her for being an easy quitter. The leaves that were falling on the ground felt sympathy for her, however, and agreed to help her. “Why don’t you dance with us instead?”, they told her, and from that point on fell at varying paces so as to help her catch as many of themas possible.
The moment she heard their proposal, she got excited. So, she started dancing at the same pace at which theleaves fell, treating it as an opportunity to practice her dancing skills instead of a chore. So gracious were her movements even, that she caught each and every one of them just before they touched the ground. Seeing her skills improve, they steadily increased their pace so she would keep finding it exciting and not quit. A few hours later, and after our good rake learned to move with ease and rhythm so as never miss a falling leaf, the trees of the garden and the donkey gave her a big round of applause and admitted her worth.
Our good rake was so happy for the applause that from that day on she started seeing what used to be a chore for her as an opportunity to practice her dancing skills.