Intro: Pounding bass note and a stirring fanfare of horns. Welcome to another edition of Things to Think about. Here's Stacy. The horns continue with a keyboard note held.
Relaxing piano music is in the background.
Welcome to the Things to Think About podcast, where we use fables and fairy tales to come to deeper truths about our subconscious world. I'm Stacy Casson. And today's story explores luck. Do you feel lucky or unlucky? Is your life like a raincloud hanging around and raining only on you? We will explore the role we play in our luck in a tale I call, “Good Grief”. And now, get comfortable and relax. Take a deep breath in.
And exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. And if you'd like, you can slowly close your eyes.
Once upon a time, there was a clumsy zebra named Geoffrey. Everything he did seemed to go wrong. The yummy tall grass he found turned out to be stinging nettles and his mouth would swell up. The herd would decide to change directions when he was off taking care of nature. He was forever catching up because there was always something. “I am so unlucky,” Geoffrey thought to himself. Today was the Zebra Olympics. There would be a grass-eating contest, a camouflage contest, and races. Geoffrey decided to skip the grass-eating since his mouth was still tender from the stinging nettles. In the camouflage contest, a bee stuck him causing him to yelp and jump, giving away his position. He was in the lead in the races. “I’m doing it,” he thought to himself, “I may actually win this.” “Maybe my luck is changing.” Geoffrey was so deep in thought that he failed to see the sticks scattered ahead. Suddenly he felt his hoofs give out from under him and he was tumbling. The other zebras were not expecting this turn of events and ran into him causing a zebra pile-up. “I knew he would mess this up,” muttered Akano, the leader of the zebras.
“I’m really sorry, Akano. Those sticks came out of nowhere.” “Wow,” Akano sneered, “you are going to blame inanimate objects for your clumsiness?” “I despise weakness. If it were not for your mother, we would have kicked you out ages ago.” Akano’s words cut him to the core. “I am trying my best. I don’t know why bad luck follows me everywhere.” Geoffrey wondered if he could survive without the herd. “With my luck, I’ll run into a pride of lions. I guess that would take me out of my misery.” He envisioned himself all alone in the savannah, shunned by the other zebras. He was certain that his reputation would precede him and he would not be allowed to be a part of the other packs. “What’s the point,” Geoffrey wondered. “Nobody is going to want to be my friend. I’ll never find a mate because what if my bad luck is passed on to my children? I’ll leave and with my luck, the lions will find me and end my misery.
Geoffrey went to find his mother to tell her the news. “But why child?” she asked. “Because the tribe would be better off without me. I’m so lonely mother and everything I touch goes wrong.” “It all works out in the end, don’t be so hasty. Did you know when you were tiny, a lion tried to eat you? I thought I would not reach you in time. Just then you decided to roll around in the mud. The lion missed you and slammed into a tree. Geoffrey, if you keep thinking you are cursed, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You know that I love you. There is no such thing as good luck or bad luck. Things happen and get their meaning by how we interpret the situation. Like the nettles you found last week, it alerted the rest of the herd to the danger. And if you had won the race, Akano would be out for you because he hates losing at anything. You are stronger than you think my child. Everything has an upside and a downside.” Geoffrey pondered what his mother said. “I am going to take a walk and think about what you said.”
Geoffrey walked away and let his feet walk where they wanted to. He did not notice the change of scenery as he meandered along. He thought about what his mother said. She did love him and never said that she was disappointed. He thought about his childhood. Back then Akano was his closest friend. He remembered that when Imani showed interest in him, all of a sudden, Akano would criticize everything he did. He began to believe it. Why? Geoffrey kept expecting the worse and it happened. Maybe I have been sabotaging myself. Suddenly he stopped and his eyes widened. Of course, it would be a lion!! It had not seen him as yet. Geoffrey hastily and as quietly as he could, pulled out some thorny sticks and scattered them around in the tall grass. He noticed the lion starting to sniff and quickly ran away. The lion roared and Geoffrey ran faster. “I can do this,” Geoffrey repeated like a mantra. He heard a loud yelp but did not dare to look back. He saw the herd ahead and screamed “Lion, lion!! It’s coming this way.” “What are you yammering about?” Akano asked. “No one is behind you.” “It may have been injured by the sticks I left behind. We must get into formation. I swear on my mother’s life that there was a lion.” Akano humored him, savoring the upcoming humiliation. The zebras went on the defensive and slowly advanced toward the imaginary lion. Surprise dawned on Akano when he saw the lion whimpering because there was a thorny stick stuck in its paw. “I’m going to help him,” Geoffrey said. He was a kind-hearted zebra and hated to see others suffer. “Hey buddy,” he called to the lion. “I am going to help you, please don’t eat me.” The lion looked at him pathetically. “This may hurt a little bit, but you will be okay. Just dip your paw in the water.” Geoffrey stepped on the stick and told the lion to lift its paw quickly. The lion did as he said and howled with pain. “I feel bad about chasing you. I am so hungry the lion said.” Nevertheless, it slunk away to soak its paw and all the other zebras cheered. “Perhaps my luck is changing,” Geoffrey thought.
Do you always expect the worse? How is that working out for you? And now you can take a deep breath in and exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. Deep breath in and exhale. And when you're ready, wiggle your toes. Wiggle your fingers and slowly open your eyes. If you're enjoying this podcast, please tell a friend.
Closing: Closing jazzy keyboard and thrumming bass. Hope you enjoyed today's segment. Tell a friend. See you next time. Music fades.