The Fisherman


Daijun, was the eldest son of a prosperous fisherman in the small port town of Mancu. He had watched his father work the seas his whole life and wanted nothing more than to be a great fisherman in kind. When he was old enough, he told his father of his desires to follow in his footsteps and his willingness to learn the craft. His father was proud of the family tradition and set out to teach his son, just as he had been taught by his father and his father before him, for generations.

The next day, he sent Daijun to the harbor to work with the laborers scraping barnacles from the ships at dock. It was hard, tortuous work. When Daijun returned home, he complained of the hard work and questioned what it had to do with fishing. His father explained that to fish the sea, you must sail. And to sail, you need a boat. And to own a boat, you must know how to fix and care for it. Daijun could not argue the logic and continued his work at the docks.

He spent the next weeks teaching his son every knot, pulley, winch, and sail of the old trawler they owned. He became quite the proficient sailor, but in time, Daijun asked his father when he would learn to find and catch the fish. His father had seen his son become a proficient sailor and explained to Daijun that there was but one more important lesson to learn. He gave Daijun the daily task to take the small and unsellable fish by hand cart, up the long hill to the village and give the fish to the poor and hungry who lived there. Sensing the end of his training and the beginning of truly fishing in the near future, Daijun took to his task the first day with glee.

He returned at the end of the day feeling quite differently about his lesson. Muscles aching from pushing the laden cart up the long hill, smelling of rotting fish, and feeling beleaguered by the throngs of needy who so greedily took of their kindness, he asked his father what this could possibly have to do with fishing.

His father simply repeated his mantra, β€œTo fish, you must sail. To sail, you need a boat. To own a boat, you must know how to fix and care for your boat. And to take fish as a gift from the sea, you must first learn to give.”


20 Responses to “The Fisherman”
  1. beth says:

    what a beautiful and invaluable life lesson

  2. K.L. Hale says:

    Thank you, Brad. This is beautiful. I feel as Beth. πŸ’šπŸ’›β€οΈ

  3. What you give comes back to you ten-fold! What a wonderful story that we all needed to read with a concept we all needed to be reminded of.

  4. You’ve written a most profound narrative and closed it with a golden broach!

  5. joyroses13 says:

    Wonderful story!!

  6. kristianw84 says:

    This is such a beautiful story with a wonderful story! A very important lesson that we all need to learn. We done, my friend.

  7. petespringerauthor says:

    Wonderful lesson! I love stories that are entertaining while incorporating a message. This reminds me of a children’s fable.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Taoists refer to them as “koans”, but they are very much what we think of as fables. They usually try to impart some wisdom of the Tao in stories that are more easily understood. Thank you, Pete!

  8. jonicaggiano says:

    This is a wonderfully
    Written story Brad. This was a very wise and kind man teaching his son lessons that made him a better man. Beautiful Brad. Have a blessed Sabbath. Hugs Jonikins

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