A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, and the tiger ran after him. Coming to a precipice, the man caught hold of a wild vine and swung himself over the edge. The tiger sniffed and paced above. Trembling, the man looked down, to where another tiger had come, waiting to eat him. Two mice, one black and one white, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a lucious strawberry growing near him. Holding the vine with one hand, the man stretched until he reached the strawberry. How sweet it tasted!
Recently I reread this well known Zen parable and suddenly realized that Pollyanna was really a Zen master. Her “glad game” epitomized the lesson this parable teaches – no matter what is going on around you, no matter how terrible things are or seem to be, you never want to let them keep you from enjoying and appreciating the sweet things in life.