The Duration of Life

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When God created the world, he decided to fix the duration of life for all creatures. He called the donkey and said, “Will thirty years be fine for you?” The donkey replied, “I will have to carry heavy burden, thirty years is too long.” God reduced his age to eighteen years. Then he called the dog and said, “I hope thirty years is fine for you.” The dog said, “I will soon lose my teeth and sit in the corner, thirty years is too much.” God reduced it to twelve years. Then came the monkey and God said, “How does thirty years sound?” The monkey replied, “I have to do silly things to make people laugh. Thirty years is too much.” God reduced it to ten years.

Then God called man and asked him if thirty years was good enough for him to live well. The man replied, “I have to build my house and plant the trees. How can I die before I get pleasure from my house and before the plants start bearing fruits? Thirty years is too less.” God said, “I will give you eighteen years of the donkey’s life.”

The man was greedy and wanted more. God said, “You can take twelve years of the dog’s life.” “Can I have some more?” asked the man. Finally God said, “Take ten years of the monkey’s life and no more.”

Therefore, the first thirty years of man’s life are his own, when he enjoys. The next eighteen are of a donkey’s when he has to carry burdens. The next ten years are those of a dog’s life when he loses his teeth and lies in a corner, and the last ten years are that of monkey’s life when he does silly things!


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