A man had a parrot of which he was excessively fond.
He kept it in a silver cage and fed it fruits and nuts and anything else the bird asked for, for the parrot was so clever it could engage in conversation.
The parrot longed for freedom and often asked for it but the merchant would always reply: “Ask for anything else.”
One day the parrot said to him: “Give me freedom and I’ll give you three pieces of advice that could be of great benefit to you.”
The merchant loved the parrot but he loved money more. He thought: “If his advice helps me amass wealth, it would be worth it.”
“Go,” he said, opening the cage. The parrot hopped out onto his hand.
“Never grieve over loss of wealth,” he said.
The merchant thought it was tame advice but said nothing.
The parrot flew to the roof of the merchant’s house.
“This is my second advice,” he said. “Never believe everything that is told to you.”
“Tell me something that I don’t know,” said the man, sounding annoyed.
“What you don’t know is that I’ve two priceless gems in my stomach,” said the bird.
“Two priceless gems,” echoed the merchant.
“Oh, what a fool I was to set you free! I’ll regret this for the rest of my life!!”
“Don’t you want to hear my third advice?” asked the parrot.
“Tell me,” said the merchant, bitterly.
“I advised you never to grieve over losses but here you are grieving over losing me,” said the parrot.
“I advised you never to believe everything you hear but you immediately believed me when I told you I had two gems in my stomach.
Could I have survived if I really had two gems in my stomach?
My third advice is: “Listen, learn to listen with your mind instead of just with your ears.”
And with that, the parrot flew away, leaving the merchant gaping.