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Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2005 - 12:12 p.m.

She was different from all the other monkeys because she was born with a hole in her heart. They made fun of her ever since she was born because of this, throwing things at her and calling her names, and so she was a sad little monkey with no friends.

Today they would throw berries. Tomorrow they would throw stones. And then it would be today again.

Once, she went to ask the oldest monkey why she had a hole in her heart, and how it could be fixed. The oldest monkey looked wise, and told her a lot of things, like the city beyond the mountain which was hidden in a lake. He listened to her chest and said, yes you have a missing heart sound.

But the little monkey girl looked at the oldest monkey, and saw that he did not know how to fix the hole in her heart either. Then the little monkey girl saw something else - the oldest monkey had a hole in his heart too. He didn't seem to know this so she told him about it, but he bared his teeth at her and chased her away.

Then she saw that all the other monkeys had holes in their hearts as well - big ones, small ones, ones that looked like berry seeds, others that were shaped like the moon. She tried to tell them but none of the monkeys wanted to listen, and so she had to leave them.

She did not know where she was going, but one night while she was sleeping in a tree, she had a dream. She dreamt of a paw, which could have belonged to a fox, a monkey, or a dog. The paw reached towards her furry little chest. Then she looked down at herself, and the hole in her heart was gone. Her heart beat so loudly in the dream that it woke the little monkey girl up.

The next morning the little monkey girl ran through the jungle, and she stopped only when the river that never stopped running asked her, little monkey girl, what are you looking for?

The little monkey girl said, I am looking for the paw that will fix the hole in my heart.

Then the mountain asked, how do you know that such an animal with such a paw is out there?

And a cloud on the mountain top added, please tell us if you ever find it.

The little monkey girl nodded her head, and then she saw that all the things of the earth had holes in their hearts, even the mountains, the clouds, and the rivers that never stopped running.

She reached a very cold place where there was snow and she cried, but it was so cold that her tears turned to ice. Then she asked, what if I never find it? But the stars were cold also and could not answer her. She searched many years for the one animal whose magical paw would fill the hole in her heart, even going to the city in the lake, but one day she reached a jungle and realized that it was the jungle that she had started out from.

The mountain, the cloud and the river were still around, though all the other monkeys had already died. But even then she could see the holes of their hearts resting in their motionless bodies. Then she asks a second question - why are all the created things of the earth given a heart, and also a hole?

A voice answered her and said, that was the agreement you made when you wanted to be born. There are still many places on earth that you have not searched, many things that you have not done, to find the one thing that will fill the hole in your heart, the one magical thing that will make you whole again.


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