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the cricket

a parable • author unknown

A woman and a man walked down a busy street. Cars honked, sirens wailed, and voices rippled through the crowds. The woman paused. “I hear a cricket,” she said.

“No way,” the man said. “It’s probably just a squeaky bike.”

“No,” she said. “Listen carefully. There it is — it’s chirping.” She laced through the crowd, zeroing in on the sound. She arrived at a street café and gently retrieved a small cricket from a window box.

“That’s crazy,” the man exclaimed. “You must have hyper-sensitive ears!”

She shook her head. “No, it all depends on what you’re listening for.”

She let the cricket hop back to its shelter. Then, she slid her hand into her purse and grabbed a handful of change. Discreetly, she dropped the change. It jingled on the sidewalk.

Every head turned, scanning the ground for coins.

“See?” she said. “It all depends on what’s important to you.”