The Grain of Rice

We stick together – me and my buddies. If we didn’t, they’d call us “fried rices,” not “fried rice.” There was once one among us though, who went against the grain. Can you imagine eating us with chopsticks if you had to pick us up one by one?

Well, the one of us who had his own way, one day decided to break free. He slipped between the prongs of a fork and left our consciousness. We all like to follow the rules. We go where we belong and we end up being eaten. As for HIS fate, the legend begins here:

Some say he fell on the ground and shrivelled up. Some say an ant found him and fed him to an ant family. I know what really happened though…

When the grain of rice fell through the prongs of the fork, he fell onto the table. The man who was eating got the rice stuck to his elbow. That man was a rescue helicopter pilot, bound for the mountains to rescue a climber. The rice became dislodged from the pilot’s elbow and rolled around on the floor of the helicopter.

When the rescued climber was placed on the floor in his stretcher, the rice got caught on the climber’s trouser leg. Back on the ground, the climber was seen in the hospital by a spiritual leader who knelt and prayed for his speedy recovery. The rice came to be on the floor, where it was attached to the spiritual leader’s knee.

The spiritual leader later patted a dog which brushed against his knee and freed the grain of rice once more. The rice ran down the drain in the next downpour, making it into the water catchment and then into the river.

The malevolent dictator was asserting to a group of devoted followers that the poor shouldn’t be so picky. “They should just drink from the the river. See?” He said to his posse. “If I can drink it, THEY can drink it.” He scooped up a glassful of water and poured it into his gullet. The grain of rice found himself trapped in that glass of water. The grain made his way into the dictator’s oesophagus, prompting a violent coughing fit, and triggering a heart attack.

The dictator’s followers were stunned. Could this be the end of military rule in this country? Could this mark a return to freedom?

Still stuck in the leader’s throat, the grain of rice received a state burial. The country was freed from his rule, and we all have that one non-conforming, free-thinking grain of rice to thank.

T.

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