One of my dad’s favourite sayings was “don’t sniff what you won’t eat”. It reminds me of the story of the little trout that disregarded its mother’s warning not to go near a fly, for “that horrid fly is used to hide the sharpness of the hook!”
There are convictions that deter making dangerous life decisions. Trouble has often been known to sooner or later follow, when these healthy convictions are disregarded and other reasons are used to justify changing our minds: sniffing again at food that seemed to have gone off because it looked good or for an uncontrolled appetite, may make it acceptable eventually.
The little trout was young and not so wise, described by the poet as “young and foolish too”, so disregarding the wisdom of old of its aged mother, it ventured out “to see if it were true”. Yes, the little trout sniffed what it was not supposed to eat, till it convinced itself, “I’m sure that’s not a hook!”
The end of the story is like many regretful cases, when one looks back and remembers the inside gentle safety nugde that said “don’t” and draws our attention to subtle signs of danger ahead. The trout played around the hook “with many a longing look”, its greedy mind seeing the fly and not the trap till it got caught and with last breath stated “dear mother had I minded you, I need not now have died”.
Dreams have been shattered for sniffing what had been considered inedible, more disasters may be averted by heeding our safety nudges and past experiences may be used to help others avoid land mines on life’s tortuous paths!
Please don’t sniff what you are sure you shouldn’t eat!