Monday, January 22, 2007

The Rooster

In old China, there once was an extraordinary painter whose fame crossed all borders. Shortly before the year of the Rooster, a rich businessman thought that he would like to have in his house a picture representing a rooster, painted by this fabulous artist. So, he went to the village where the painter lived and offered him a very generous amount of money for the work. The old painter agreeded immediately, but under one condition: he had to return a year later to pick up his painting. The businessman became a little bitter. He had dreamed about having the picture as soon as possible and enjoying it during the year signed by this animal.

But, the fame of the painter was so great, that he decided to accept and returned home without comments.

The months passed slowly and the businessman waited for the longed moment to arrive and go pick up his picture. When the day finally arrived, he woke up at dawn and went immediately to the village of the painter. He knocked at the door and the artist received him. At the beginning, he didn't remember who he was.

- I come to pick up the painting of the rooster - said the businessman.
- Oh, yes, of course! - answered the old painter.

And right there, he extended a blank linen cloth on the table, and in front of the eyes of the businessman, with a fine brush he drew a rooster with a single line. It was the simple image of a rooster, and by some kind of magic, it enclosed the essence of all the roosters that exist or ever existed. The businessman remained with an open mouth, stunning about the result, but couldn't avoid to ask him:

- Master, please, answer me a single question. Your talent is unquestionable, but, was it necessary to have me waiting for a whole year?

Then the artist invited him to come to the back room, where his workshop was. And there, the anxious businessman could see, covering the walls and the floor, accumulated on the tables and in enormous stacks up to the ceiling, hundreds and hundreds of sketches, drawings and paintings of roosters, the intense work of a whole year of search.


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