Life, Art, and Monkeys
6Feb/15Off

The Parable of the Lavagoat

There was once a herd of goats. They lived on a scraggly, dirty mountain where there wasn't much food. A river of lava flowed from the peak of the mountain all the way down for as far as the eye could see. Across the chasm of magma was a beautiful, lush meadow. The goats longed to eat the great green grass of that meadow, instead of the tangled vines and scrubby weeds of their hillside. They could only watch from afar, trapped by the molten river.

By and by a young goat was born, very different from the rest. His fur was as red as blood, and shined in the sun like gold. He often wondered why the other goats did not go to the green side of the mountain. Each day he edged closer to the river of lava, and closer to the greenery on the other side. Soon he was at the edge, where no other goat dared to stand. His mother bleated for him to return! "You'll be burned up!" she exclaimed when he trotted back to her side. "Don't you feel how terribly hot the lava is?"

The young goat with the red fur did not feel how hot the lava was. To him, it felt as cool as the earth. He walked up and down the banks, trying to feel the warmth his mother warned of. Nothing changed, no matter where he walked. With a glance over his shoulder, he touched a hoof to the bubbling lava flow. It was sticky, but did not burn. With a deep breath for courage, he ran across the river of magma and leaped to the grassy knoll on the other side!

"Look!" he cried from across the river, "I made it! It's amazing here, come and see!"

The other goats were shocked to see him across the river of lava. They walked up and down the banks, testing the heat. Alas, no matter where they went it was too hot to go near.

"Why don't you just run across?" asked the red furred goat. "It's easy! You just have to be quick and take a deep breath!"

The other goats walked sadly away, leaving the red furred goat shouting.

"Don't give up! It's easy! You just have to take that first step and go!"

The little goat ate the wonderful grass with joy, but could not understand why the others did not join him. "It's easy," he thought as he ate. "Why wouldn't they just listen to me?"

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