One day, Amaru became aware that a fly was bothering him. Now, flies are a fact of life in Amaru’s part of the world, and one simply brushes them off and carries on. But this particular fly refused to be brushed off.
At first, Amaru just waved his hand, expecting the fly to go away. But instead it clung to the few fine, black hairs on the back of Amaru’s hand and refused to depart. Amaru, not wanting to hurt it, decided to ignore it. After all, the fly was doing no harm.
And in fact it did eventually fly away--presumably to forage for food--but then it would come back. Amaru learned to accept this Fly as a part of his life.
Then one day Amaru sat down to a delicious supper, his plate piled high with rice and vegetables in a pungent sauce. To his horror, the Fly landed right on his plate! This was really too much. Amaru raised his arm to strike. But the Fly fluttered his wings in a peculiar way, which attracted Amaru’s attention, and spoke: “O Amaru, be not so hasty! See that I have but one small foot on one tiny portion of your food!”
Amaru had to admit to himself that this was not really a serious situation. He shrugged his shoulders and ate around the very small spot that the Fly had touched, and the Fly helped himself to the untouched food.
But the next day it happened again! And again, just before Amaru could strike, the Fly fluttered its wings and spoke: “O Amaru, be not so hasty! See that I have but two small feet on one very small portion of your food!”
And again Amaru had to admit that perhaps he was being too severe.
Predictably, the following day the Fly repeated the whole performance, this time with three small feet. Amaru was beginning to feel imposed upon, his meals were getting smaller, and the Fly was becoming fat and careless. But once having given in, he could not justify a change in behaviour based on one small foot at a time.
This all came to a sudden and unfortunate conclusion. Amaru had served himself a plateful of mixed fruits and had sat down comfortably on the veranda. It was a warm, sunny morning. Suddenly the Fly plunked himself down right in the middle of Amaru’s plate on a piece of melon and began to eat!
Amaru, oblivious of the fluttering wings and any words of logic from that quarter, smashed his fist down, ruining his whole meal. He was a little disturbed, in retrospect, at his precipitous behaviour. But then he went and got a clean plate and some more fruit and settled himself down again on his now peaceful veranda.