Tale of the Pipe

A large lake, fed by mountain streams, is tapped for crop irrigation. A long straight pipe sends the water out amongst the many farmers. Crops grow, and all is working as it should.

As time passes, farmers at the far end of the pipe notice a reduction in water, their crops suffer — someone is sent to investigate. He reports back that those near the water’s source have lush abundant greenery, the most he’s ever seen.

The far-end farmers ask the source-end farmers why their crops are so plentiful while their own are so sparse. The source-end farmers mention things such as hard work, strength of character, and a predestination for greatness.

Upon investigation, the far-end farmers notice that the source-enders are siphoning more water than was originally agreed upon, thus weakening the flow to the far end. But the source-end farmers mention that because of their proximity to the source, they’re entitled to a larger share of the water.

They also mention that the far-enders are welcome to come and work on the now sprawling farms in the source-end. The far-enders, furious, demand their water be restored. But the source-enders, being first on the pipe, just siphon even more water. Soon, the far-enders’ crops fail completely and they are given no choice but to work the source-enders’ farms.

The far-enders, once having farms of their own, now commute to the source-end to work under the direction of farm managers, losing much of their autonomy and resources. But it wasn’t always easy managing their own farms, especially under the low-water conditions, so many are grateful for the opportunity to work on the large fertile farms.

As time passes, both ends forget how it used to be, it’s assumed that the heirs of source-enders have always owned large farms worked by the heirs of far-enders.


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