Makul Sharma / The Economic Times / India / November 27, 2007
Once upon a time there were three little pigs who lived in a makeshift sty with their mother. One day, when it came time for them to leave and seek their fortunes, she called them around and said, "You are free to do whatever you wish to but remember to do it the best you can. And, mind you, if you don't, there are a lot of big bad wolves out there who will eat you up otherwise."
Each little pig then immediately decided that the thing highest on its list of priorities would be to build a house so that the family could finally have a home where they could live comfortably for the rest of their lives.
Now the first little pig who believed he lived in a perfect world, built his house out of love and fresh air because it was the easiest thing to do. Before long, however, a nearby wolf who also believed he lived in a pretty decent world since it seemed to be populated with tasty little pigs who tended to take the easy way out, came calling. At first he tried to talk his way in to gain entrance but when that was denied on flimsy grounds, he began showering all manner of ill-will and abuse upon the house. Within moments the structure collapsed completely allowing the wolf to rush in and gobble up the little pig.
The second little pig who had an evangelical streak in him and possessed a missionary zeal to improve the world, built his house out of faith, hope and charity. It was a matter of time, though, before the wolf who had already got a taste of the family, moved in for the kill. Yet again, his words failed to induce the pig to open his house to a hungry stranger. As a result the wolf had to show him how evil could coexist in a world that denied him food as a means for survival. In the face of such a practical assault on his virtue, the pig's improvised construction broke down and the wolf had another meal.
The third little pig, on the other hand, was different. For one thing, he was far more practical. Remembering his mother's words to do the best he could, he built only a chimney. At first the wolf tried all forms of rhetoric but when he still couldn't get into the house which wasn't there, he decided to use the chimney instead to climb down into it. But the clever little pig had already put a cauldron of boiling water at the fireplace end and the wolf fell straight into it and died. The little pig quickly brought his mother over and they lived happily inside the chimney ever after.
Moral: Having only one goal in life is even more self-defeating.