Once upon a time there was a Carp who was an idealist. For instance, he maintained that it had never been proven that monks made soup out of the fish they caught in the stream. "They might have been put into the monks' pond," the Carp argued, "and they may be living there in luxury."
The Carp argued with his friend the Gremille about the nature of the Pike, concerning whose cruel disregard of the rights of other fish and voracious appetite dreadful tales were in circulation. For a long time the Carp refused to believe that such a thing as an evil Pike who ate Carp could exist. At last he declared he would like to meet the Pike and explain to him the nature of virtue and the advantages of brotherly co- operation between Pike and Carp. "Perhaps," the Carp insisted, "the Pike is only waiting to be loved, to have his heart and mind enlightened. Perhaps if one got to know him he would turn out to be thoughtful and kind."
Finally word about the idealistic Carp reached the Pike, who invited the Carp to appear before him at dawn. "I am not afraid," declared the Carp. "Why should I be? I'm not guilty of doing anything wrong."
"You are stupid," his friend the Gremille replied, "that's what you're guilty of. And fat, moreover."
When the Carp appeared, the Pike was not feeling very hungry, and he received the Carp quite graciously. "What calumnies have been