Three men found themselves stranded on a desert island. One man was a doer – a man of action. One man was a dullard – a dimwit and a brute. The last man was a delegator – a man who’s special skill was telling other men what to do.
Faced with their plight, each man set about taking in their situation. The delegater began to cry, “What do we do? What do we do?” while the dullard sat down and played in the sand of the beach. The doer just stood in place and slowly surveyed his surroundings.
“What do we do?” kept on the delegater until finally the doer spoke up.
“We’ll need shelter, food, water and a wood for a fire,” he said.
The delegater perked up. “Yes, good idea. We should get shelter, food, water and wood. But from where?”
The doer pointed up a hill that rose into the jungle. “I see a small stream breaking the line of those trees. That should be a source of fresh water.” He then pointed down the beach. “I see some coconut trees down the beach there which we can use as food. And the forests should be full of sufficient materials to build a shelter and to serve as fuel for a fire.”
“Yes, of course!” said the delegater who gestured to the dullard to get up, and they started toward the hill with the stream.
The doer just shook his head, knowing they had nothing to carry the water and headed in the direction of the coconuts. He gathered enough for all of them and headed back to their spot on the beach, found a small round stick and some dry wood and proceeded to drill a hole in one coconut.
By the time the other two returned, he had drilled three holes in three coconuts and each drank the milk and then he showed them how to use a stick to dig out the white meat inside like a scraper. “This way we can use them to carry the water,” he told them. But they were already tired from their hike to the spring so when they finished he went with three empty shells to get more water for later and pointed to them where they could gather some wood he had seen for a shelter and a fire.
Upon arriving back to the beach with the water, he noticed the dullard hauling all the wood while the delegater gave him directions. He shrugged it off for at least there was a considerable pile. On his way back he had collected some grass stems and began to weaving a small piece of twine. The delegater glanced at his work every so often but mostly occupied himself with leading the brute about.
After they collected enough wood, the dullard and the delegater stood by the doer as if to say ‘now what?’ He strung his piece of twine on a small, flexible stick as a bow and showed them how to use it on another stick to start a fire. He then explained to them how they could construct shelters for each of them to sleep in. When he was satisfied they understood, he told them he was going to build a trap to catch some fish so they wouldn’t have to eat just coconuts.
The brute sat down at once with the bow and began to pull and the doer stayed long enough to help them get the fire started and to be sure the delegater understood how to build the three shelters before he went off to build his traps. By the time he returned, sure enough there was a healthy fire and three shelters. The delegater had ‘assigned’ himself the largest of the three and the dullard the smallest, but his was more than suitable so they all slept for the night.
Early the next morning, the doer again set off for the coconut trees making sure the other two knew where to find more wood for the fire and that they should get more water. On his way he wound himself another longer piece of twine which he used to help him climb the trees as most of the nuts on the ground were already picked up. As he was finishing up, the delegater came along and was admiring his rope.
“That’s a mighty handy tool! Let me have it and I’ll get the dullard to carry the coconuts for you!”
It seemed a reasonable exchange to him, and he didn’t like dealing with the dullard. The delegater seemed to have a knack for it so he agreed. He set to weaving another rope for tomorrow while checking his fish traps. That evening they ate both coconuts and fish over a fire. The doer did notice the delegater giving the dullard an extra coconut but didn’t fret, for he had helped carry them home.
Before returning to the coconuts the next morning, the doer looked around for a sturdy stick. He had already pulled any loose coconuts free so he would now need something to pry the others loose. Finding a stick he found it worked quite nicely to the task and after he had knocked a sufficient number down, he noticed the delegater again coming up after having gathered (or getting the dullard to gather) the day’s firewood and water.
He was exhausted from climbing the tree and prying at the coconuts, so he welcomed the thought. The doer instead set about finding another stick for tomorrow and checking his traps for fish. He had also caught a huge coconut crab climbing one of the trees and it gave him an idea. He searched the beach near his traps and found a nice tapered rock to help him pull the green husks off of the coconuts, as they had enough drilled for water containers now.
As the doer hammered open his coconuts, the others quickly saw the expedience of this and they set about finding rocks of their own. It made for much quicker work and the meat of the nut was much easier to get at so they too found rocks to use for the purpose.
On the following morning the doer got yet another idea and before setting out to gather more coconuts, he used some of his twine to tie the rock to his stick to make a crude tomahawk hammer. Seeing this, the delegater was intrigued and asked how it was done, so he showed him.
Again the doer went about getting the coconuts but when he completed the task, he quickly noticed no one had come to help him carry them back to camp. And upon arriving in camp, he learned they had only gathered a small amount of wood, the fire was almost out, and there were just two shells of water.
The doer asked why no one came to help carry the coconuts and why there was barely enough water and wood, to which the delegater replied “we were busy exploring the beach and I was explaining to the dullard the finer points of leadership.”
The doer was struck with a thought. “Fine, but we all have tasks for which we are responsible if we are to survive. If I am going to be gathering all the food then I expect there to be firewood and water when I get back. If you desire coconuts and fish tomorrow, it is your business to make sure there are at least 3 shells of water and half a cord of wood at my shelter.” Both men seemed to understand.
Yet upon returning the following day he only found two shells of water and a quarter cord of wood, so the doer gave the others an according share of the coconuts and fish.
The following day, he found no water and wood left for him so he didn’t say a word. He instead headed to the spring himself to get some water and gathered some dry wood on his way back.
He returned to find the dullard and the delegater stealing his fish and coconuts. “What is the meaning of this?” he shrieked.
“We must eat, we need food!” said the delegater.
“Me hungry,” said the dullard dropping his coconuts.
The doer shooed them both away explaining that if they did their share of the work, they would be welcome to a share of his. Otherwise begone. As he turned to reorganize the scattered stack of coconuts and fish, he felt a sharp blow to his head and blacked out.
As he came too, he saw the dullard lugging away the last of coconuts and fish and the delegater supervising.
“Did you make him hit me with the hammer?” said the doer now aware his life was waining.
“But of course,” said the delegater, “we needed food to survive and you weren’t letting us have any of yours.”
“You fool,” said the doer fading in and out of consciousness. “The dullard is not smart enough to survive and you barely lift a finger to work. Neither of you know how to rig my traps and you can’t survive on just coconuts. When I die, you two will shortly follow and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT!!!”
The delegater looked at the doer with an indignant stare.
“My fault? It was YOU who kept me alive long enough to help ME build the hammer!”
A scorpion was wandering along the bank of the river, wondering how to get to the other side. Suddenly he saw a fox. He asked the fox to take him on his back across the river.
The fox said, “No. If I do that, you’ll sting me and I’ll drown.”
The scorpion assured him, “If I did that, we’d both drown.”
So the fox thought about it and finally agreed. So the scorpion climbed up on his back and the fox began to swim. But halfway across the river, the scorpion stung him.
As the poison filled his veins, the fox turned to the scorpion and said, “Why did you do that? Now you’ll drown too.”
“I couldn’t help it,” said the scorpion. “It’s my nature.”