Sunday, January 13, 2013

< RM > story - The Rebellion Against the Stomach

The Rebellion Against the Stomach

Once a man had a dream in which his
hands and feet and mouth and brain all
began to rebel against his stomach.
"You good-for-nothing sluggard!" the
hands said. "We work all day long, sawing
and hammering and lifting and carrying. By
evening we're covered with blisters and
scratches, and our joints ache, and we're
covered with dirt. And meanwhile you just sit
there, hogging all the food."
"We agree!" cried the feet. "Think how
sore we get, walking back and forth all day
long. And you just stuff yourself full, you
greedy pig, so that you're that much heavier
to carry about."
"That's right!" whined the mouth. "Where
do you think all that food you love comes
form? I'm the one who has to chew it all up,
and as soon as I'm finished you suck it all
down for yourself. Do you call that fair?"
"And what about me?" called the brain.
"Do you think it's easy being up here, having
to think about where your next meal is going
to come from? And yet I get nothing at all for
my pains."
And one by one the parts of the body
joined the complaint against the stomach,
which didn't say anything at all.
"I have an idea," the brain finally
announced. "Let's all rebel against the lazy
belly, and stop working for it."
"Superb idea!" all the other members and
organs agreed. "We'll teach you how impor-
tant we are, you pig. Then maybe you'll do a
little work of your own."
So they all stopped working. The hands
refused to do lifting and carrying. The feet
refused to walk. The mouth promised not to
chew or swallow a single bite. And the brain
swore it wouldn't come up with any more
bright ideas. At first the stomach growled a
bit, as it always did when it was hungry. But
after a while it was quiet.
Then, to the dreaming man's surprise, he
found he could not walk. He could not grasp
anything in his hand. He could not even open
his mouth. And he suddenly began to feel
rather ill.
The dream seemed to go on for several
days. As each day passed, the man felt
worse and worse. "This rebellion had better
not last much longer," he thought to himself,
"or I'll starve."
Meanwhile, the hands and feet and mouth
and brain just lay there, getting weaker and
weaker. At first they roused themselves just
enough to taunt the stomach every once in a
while, but before long they didn't even have
the energy for that.
Finally the man heard a faint voice coming
from the direction of his feet.
"It could be that we were wrong," they
were saying. "We suppose the stomach
might have been working in his own way all
"I was just thinking the same thing," mur-
mured the brain. "It's true that he's been
getting all the food. But it seems he's been
sending most of it right back to us."
"We might as well admit our error," the
mouth said. "The stomach has
just as much work to do as the
hands and feet and brain and
"Then let's get back to work,"
they cried together. And at that
the man woke up.
To his relief, he discovered
his feet could walk again. His
hands could grasp, his mouth
could chew, and his brain could
now think clearly. He began to
feel much better.
"Well, there's a lesson for
me," he thought as he filled his
stomach at breakfast. "Either
we all work together, or nothing
works at all."

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