75 Years in a Man’s Life 

Yatindra Bhatnagar


[I printed this piece some two decades back and think it ought to be reprinted]

God created the donkey and told him: You will work tirelessly from Sun up to Sun down, carrying heavy bags on your back. You will eat grass. You will have no intelligence and you will live for 50 years. You will be a Donkey. [This has nothing to do with the Democratic Party in the US whose symbol is Donkey.]

The donkey answered: I accept being a donkey and doing all that you want, but living for 50 years doing all that is just too long; give me only 20 years.

God agreed and gave him 20 years.

God then created the dog and told him: You will look after your owner’s home and you will be his best friend. You will eat whatever he will give you and you will live for 25 years. You will be a Dog.

The dog answered: God, living 25 years with those duties and that compensation is too long; give me only 10 years.

God relented a second time and gave him only 10 years.

God again went to work and created a monkey. He told him: You will jump from branch to branch and do silly things. You will amuse others and you will live for 20 years. You will be a Monkey.

The monkey answered: God, living 20 years, jumping and entertaining others with silly things all the time is too much. Please give me only 10 years.

And God agreed again.

Finally God created man and told him: You will be the only rational being on the Earth. You will use your intelligence to control other animals. You will dominate the world and you will live for 20 years. You will be a Man.

The man answered: God, I will be a man, but with all that intelligence and power living just for 20 years is not enough. You have many more years in your kitty – please give me 30 extra years that the donkey refused; the 20 years that the dog didn’t want and those 10 years the monkey was not interested in.

God in His kindness also granted the man’s wish.

Since then Man lives 20 years as a young man. Then he enters adulthood and spends 30 years like a donkey working and carrying the load of the family he raises on his back. When his children leave home he spends 15 years like a dog looking after his home and wife, eating whatever is given to him. Then he gets into retirement and spends his last 10 years like a monkey jumping from his home to smaller house, or from the homes of his children, one after the other, doing silly things to amuse his grandchildren.

Moral of the story: If you are a man, don’t ask for things you don’t know anything about, and the future they will bring with them. .