our situation reminded me of a fable I had read somewhere. Chased by a tiger, a man slips and falls over the edge of a mountain. As he falls, he manages to grab a bush growing by the side of the mountain and hangs on to it for dear life. The bush is laden with wild strawberries that hang tantalizingly near his mouth. As the tiger snarls above his head and a gorge stretches beneath his dangling feet, the man takes a bite from a luscious berry. ‘How sweet,’ he exclaims as he relishes its taste.I do not remember the moral attached to the fable. It might have been a commentary on the ephemeral nature of life, on how foolish it is to imagine that there is happiness to be found in the world when death is certain and likely to happen at any time. Or it might have been an exhortation to seize the day and squeeze the most out of every moment, for, in any case, we areall going to die. It might have made a reasonably good ad for strawberries, which were so good that you simply had to eat them, even if it was the last thing you did.


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