Let me tell you a story about patience.

Once upon a time, there was a man. This man lived in a tiny house, on a small farm. He was so fed up with living in such a small house that he’d spend all his time thinking of ways to make his house bigger. But alas, due to the current financial crisis and the weak Australian economy, he was unable to expand his, let’s face it, tiny wooden shack, in any way.

While reading his monthly issue of Who magazine, this man stumbled upon an article about a so-called “wise man” who was of more than above average intelligence. The man, who was by now absolutely sick of his tiny wooden shack, decided to visit the wise man to see if he could help him with his tiny wooden shack problem.

But the journey is not as easy as he was led to believe. The man crosses thick steaming jungles, across wide rapid rivers, across vast mountain ranges, until finally he reaches the hut where the wise man lives.

The man walks into the hut, and bows to the wise man. The wise man looks at him questioningly. The man explains his predicament, about his tiny wooden shack. The wise man thinks for moment, and then asks, “Do you have a cow?”

“A cow?”

“Yes, a cow.”

“I have a cow.”

“Move it into the house with you.”

And the wise man says no more. The man pleads with him, begs with him, but the wise man is unmoved; he will say no more. So the man goes back home, trekking over the jungles and rivers and mountains. And when he gets home, he scratches his head a bit, thinks about what the wise man has told him, and decides that, since the wise man is indeed a wise man, he’ll do what he says.

The man moves the cow into his tiny wooden shack to live with him. It’s unbearable. There’s absolutely no space in the tiny wooden shack, it’s almost impossible to move. The man, driven to desperation, decides to visit the wise man again. So he travels over the jungles and rivers and mountains again back to the wise man’s hut.

Once there, the man pleads with the wise man to help him. So the wise man lowers his eyes, thinks for a moment, and then asks, “Do you have any ducks?”

“Ducks?”

“Yes, ducks.”

“I have lots of ducks.”

“Move them into the house with you. In fact, move all the pigs, dogs, cats, sheep, chickens, horses and rabbits you have into the house with you as well.”

And the wise man says no more. The man gets onto his knees and wails, but the wise man is unmoved; he refuses to say another word. So the man goes back home again, trampling through the jungles and rivers and mountains. And when he gets home, he decides to do nothing. He knows that if he moves all the animals into the tiny wooden shack with him, it’ll probably burst.

But after a few days, with the wise man’s words constantly in his mind, the man reconsiders. The wise man really is said to be really wise, after all. So the man decides to move all his cows and ducks and pigs and dogs and sheep and chickens and cats and rabbits and horses into the tiny wooden shack with him.

And it’s HORRIBLE. The animals are everywhere, breaking everything, eating all his food, shitting all over the place. It’s a bloody nightmare. The man would be beside himself in distress, but there wouldn’t be any place to be beside himself. He spends most of his day squished up against the door, unable to move. While he’s there, he tries to find the wisdom in what he’s doing, but unable to see any, the man lets himself out of the house to see the wise man again.

So the man risks his life to cross the jungles and rivers and mountains all over again, to go to the wise man’s hut. And once he’s there, he describes how terrible his tiny wooden shack is now to the wise man. The wise man considers his words, then says to him, “Go home and take out all the animals.” But before he can say anymore, the man has jumped up in glee and raced off for home, back over the jungles and rivers and mountains.

And when he gets back to his tiny wooden shack, the man bangs open the door and herds all the cows and sheep and horses and ducks and chickens and cats and dogs and rabbits out of his house. And then he goes inside, expecting to find it empty.

But no! It’s entirely full of shit!

The end.

And what does that story have to do with patience? Well, you read through it all, didn’t you?

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