This story is in its original form. You may want to substitute dervish with something else, such as person on the path, teacher, or just “man.”
The Grammarian in the Well
One dark night a dervish was passing a dry well when he heard a cry for help down below. “What is the matter?’ he called down.
“I am a grammarian, and I have unfortunately fallen, due to my ignorance of the path, into this deep well, in which I am all but immobilized,” responded the other.
“Hold, friend, I’ll fetch a ladder and rope,” said the dervish.
“One moment please!” said the grammarian. “Your grammar and diction are faulty; be good enough to amend them.”
“If that is so much more important than the essentials,” shouted the dervish, “you had best stay where you are until I have learned to speak properly.”
And he went on his way.
Some interpret this story literally, and may have trouble getting past the idea of leaving someone in a well. If so, the point may have been missed. This is probably not a true story; it is a metaphor of life and the human condition. It was used many decades ago, by mystics, to illustrate how one can close their mind and become so addicted to trivia that they are unable to communicate with others—even when they are attempting to help us. In some aspect, we have the grammarian inside of us. Especially when it comes to hard held beliefs such as religion and politics.
Is there a hidden message in this story? How do you see it?