I had a phone call with a French friend of mine

Observing and respecting nature

Ashok Silwal

Dear friends readers here is a ‘little’ story for you.

In the past days, I had a phone call with a dear French friend of mine. She was just back from Glasgow UN- COP26 Summit 2021 about Climate change. We exchanged ideas on these so important topics, especially for our country and its unique World Heritage of glaciers and mountains.

Then, she told me this story-fable, perhaps a bit schematic and idealistic but meaningful in its ‘simplicity’.

Today, I’m happy to submit it to you: a little distracting reading or a starting point for more significant reflection. I hope you will enjoy reading it!


A rich father, wanting his son to know what it means to be poor, made him spend a day with a peasant family.

The boy spent three days and three nights in the fields.

Back in the city, still in the car, his father asked him, ‘What about your experience?’

‘Good’, replied the boy.

‘Did you learn anything?’, insisted the father.

1: That we have a dog and they have four.
2: That we have a pool with treated water which reaches the bottom of the garden; They have a river, with crystal clear water, fishes and other beautiful things.
3: That we have electric light in our garden but they have the stars and the moon to illuminate them.
4: That our garden reaches up to the wall; Theirs, up to the horizon.
5: That we buy our food; they grow it, collect it and cook it.
6: That we use the microwave; What they cook tastes like slow fire.
7: That we listen to CD, They listen to a continuous symphony of parrots, crickets and other animals.
8: That we live surrounded by alarming fences to protect ourselves; they live with open doors, protected by the friendship of their neighbors.
9: That we live connected to cell phones, computers, televisions; They are connected to life, to the sky, sun, clouds, water, fields, animals, flowers, their shadows and their families.

The father is very impressed with his son’s feelings.

Eventually, the son concludes, ‘Thank you for teaching me how poor we are!’

Every day, we become poorer and poorer because we no longer observe and respect nature.

(French anonymous street storyteller )

I found it a very nice story and wanted to share it with you, in my convinced love for nature.


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