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Anger Strings

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Marion was driving to work in heavy traffic on the freeway when he came up behind an old woman with out-of-state plates driving slow. He sped up and passed her, honking his horn, and shaking his fist at her.

She slowly looked at him, shook her head, then grinned, pointing at his shaking fist.
A hair on Marion’s fist started to grow. An inch, then two inches, longer and longer. It grew upward above his head, holding his fist in the air, where it shook erratically. He tried to break the hair to bring his hand down, but it was as strong as a rope.
Marion sped by several other cars on his way to work. The drivers all saw his angry face and shaking fist, and they wondered why he was so angry with them.
He finally arrived at work, got out of the car and slammed the door. Then he kicked his car to release his frustration. Just then, a hair grew from his ankle and shot high above his head. As he walked toward the door of his office, his fist was still shaking and his foot kicking.
When Marion walked into his office he asked his secretary if his report was ready for his 10 a.m. meeting, all the while shaking his fist and kicking the desk. His secretary said it wasn’t ready yet. He began waving his other hand as he ranted about the report. He threatened his secretary to get it done within the next 30 minutes or face being fired.
Just then, a hair grew from his wrist on his other hand, growing up above his head. Marion’s hand began to wave violently while he walked toward his office.
His friend came into his office and saw Marion shaking a fist, waving his other hand, and kicking his desk.
“What’s going on?” his friend asked, staring.
“People make me so mad,” Marion said.
“What’s with the physical tantrums?” his friend asked, joking.
“Now don’t you start with me!” Marion said. “These stupid strings are making me do this!”
“What strings?” his friend asked, confused. “I don’t see any strings.”
Marion started yelling. “You don’t see these stupid strings moving my hands and foot? Are you blind?”
Just then, two hairs began to grow on each side of his mouth. They grew until they reached high above, along with the others attached to his hands and foot. The hairs moved his lips and loud yelling escaped his mouth.
Marion’s boss heard the commotion and came in. “What’s going on in here?” he asked.
“Everybody’s making me mad!” Marion screamed.
The boss decided Marion needed time off and told him to take a vacation for a couple of weeks. That’s when I met him. He was hiking in the mountains of Montana and came by my cabin while I was fishin’. We chatted, and he told me how everybody made him mad, and how the strings made him physically move like a marionette. “I have no control over it.” he said.
I handed him my fishin’ pole. Just then a fish bit on the hook, and I told him to reel it in. I said, “ya see that fish? It has full control over its life ‘til it bites on that hook. Then it gives up its control to the fisherman.”
“You can control yer own feelings or ya can let yer anger control you and blame it on everyone else. Ain’t nobody makes ya mad. Ya let yerself git mad. But all that does is eat away at yer own peace of mind and well bein’.”
“What can I do about it?” Marion asked.
“Understand other people’s point of view, fer one,” I said. “Lettin’ yer sense of humor come out, fer ‘nuther. Ya don’t gotta get too serious ‘bout stuff ya know?”
We talked fer awhile. I encouraged him to read the fables ‘Peculiar Bubbles’ and ‘The Magic Stew’ on
As he was reeling in the fish, I said, “Cut the line and let ‘im free.”
Marion looked at me inquisitively but then took a knife in his shaking fist and cut the fishing line. The fish was set free. Just then all the strings attached to his body cut free, too. His fist stopped shaking, his hand stopped waving, his foot stopped kicking, his mouth closed calmly.
Two weeks later Marion was driving to work after his vacation to Montana. A woman sped by him, and then cut into his lane, causing him to hit his brakes. “Poor gal must be on the way to the hospital to deliver her baby,” he thought. “Glad I’m not her.”
He parked his car and walked into work. His secretary looked at him in fear.
“You’re back,” she said. “Uhhh, I hope you had a nice vacation. Ummm, unfortunately today is a bad day to come back to work. I know this is going to make you mad but some of the offices caught fire last night, and yours was one of them.”
“Did you take advantage of the fire and cook some marshmallows for me?” Marion asked, strolling by with peace of mind and well being.
Buscrat’s Fables are simple stories that teach a moral. Buscrat welcomes you to visit for more fables and to post your comments.

Megan Paulson is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Outlaw Partners.

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