The Forgetful Fisherman

by Joe DeMarco

The forgetful fisherman was as wise as he was forgetful.
Some even said that he used to be a Zen Master,
but that was along time ago and he had forgotten about that.
Early one morning a little boy approached the fisherman asking him for advice.
"Sir, my father would like me to help on the boat, but I am fearful of the ocean."
"Every time I get near it, I am desperately afraid. What should I do?"
The fisherman sat contemplating the boy's problem.
Finally he spoke, 'My child, You have to learn to control your FEAR."
"No, that's not it!!!" He said interrupting himself.
There was a long period of silence,
and the boy was unsure if the fisherman had fallen asleep.
Finally, he opened his eyes and spoke, "You have to learn to eliminate your FEAR,"
But quickly corrected himself again by yelling, "STRIKE THAT!!!"
This time there was an even longer silence
and the boy sat and watched
as the sun changed horizons
The boy thought the fisherman had forgotten about his problem
and was about to get up and leave when the fisherman spoke again,
"You have to learn to destroy your FEAR."
But was quick to point out, "Oh, Lord no that's not it!!!"
"Neither do you need to learn to bury it," he added quickly
and then was silent for a long time.
The boy sat with the fisherman until the evening started to creep up on them,
The sun was about to kiss the ocean, giving the sky a tangerine haze.
The boy really needed to go Now!
As he got up the forgetful fisherman told him "STOP!"
"FEAR is a sickness that crawls inside of you and dies," said the fisherman.
"The SICKNESS grows," he continued.
"It penetrates,
your every being,
leaving you,
in a constant state of FEAR.
Making you its servant,
You need to learn to release your FEAR."
'Is that it?" the boy asked getting up to leave.
Let me think about it for a little while," the forgetful fisherman replied.

Joe DeMarco

Joe DeMarco's picture

Joseph DeMarco was born in New York City; he grew up in Buffalo, NY. He has taught seventh grade on the island of Oahu, Hawaii for the last ten years. He is the author of the novels Plague of the Invigilare, The 4 Hundred and 20 Assassins of Emir Abdullah-Harazins, At Play in the Killing Fields, Blind Savior, False Prophet, and Vegans Are Tastier. He is currently working on several new projects.

Last updated November 14, 2011