Hand: A Fable
out his attic one afternoon, a man found a
peculiar thing. Judging by the title of what you
are reading, you probably already know that what
he found was a monkey's hand, but I'll just go
ahead and say: it was a monkey's hand. He took it
downstairs to his wife.
honey?" he said. "I found this monkey's
hand in the attic, and I was thinking about
asking it to grant me some wishes."
good," she replied.
careful!" warned the man's mother-in-law,
who had been sleeping over for the past three
years. "Yes, it's true that the legends
speak of monkey hands granting wishes--"
legends?" said the man.
forewarned: you might not be pleased with the
outcome! Trust me on this."
thought about it. Then he held the monkey's hand
up in the air and, ignoring his mother-in-law's
advice entirely, said, "O magic monkey's
hand, will you grant me a wish?"
hand, engulfed in a dull blue glow, began
extending and retracting its fingers, the long
black fingernails squirming through the air, and
it said in a deep, portentous voice, "Sure
So the man
said, "O magic monkey's hand ..."
is fine," said the hand.
Richard ... For my first wish, I want a million
dollars from an evil billionaire to magically
vanish from his house and appear in ours, with no
repercussions whatsoever except that I'm richer
and he's poorer, which means that no one dies, no
crimes are committed, no one is arrested or
endangered or put into any situation where any
type of unhappiness is brought upon them. Got it?"
very specific wish," said the monkey's hand.
"It seems like I can't put a twist on that
one that would make you regret your decision
the plan," said the man.
call. Here you go." A million dollars in
crisp hundreds materialized in the middle of the
living room. "What else?"
The man looked
to his wife and his mother-in-law. He bent over
to the monkey's hand and whispered for a long
said the hand.
later, the mother-in-law had disappeared and the
man's wife had grown preposterously--even
The man wiped
a tear off his face. His life would be a happy
little forethought can go a long way.