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The Optimist and the Pessimist


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The Optimist and the Pessimist on Holiday

 

The Optimist and the Pessimist were on holiday in tropical northern Australia when they came across a river. It was quite hot as it generally is in the tropics and, to the Optimist; this looked like a good swimming hole.

 

“Let’s go for a swim,” said the Optimist

“I dunno,” hesitated the Pessimist, “I’ve heard there are man eating crocodiles lurking in these waters.”

“Don’t be such a pessimist,” retorted the Optimist, “let’s get out of the car and have a look!”

So the Pessimist capitulated and reluctantly followed an excited Optimist to the water’s edge.

“Wow! This looks great!” remarked the Optimist.

 

It was an understandable statement, given that they were at a most picturesque bend in the river. Native trees and plants lined its edge, dappling the humid sunlight as in shone on the clearing on the bank where the Optimist and the Pessimist found themselves.

 

“Coming in?” the Optimist asked as he stripped down anticipating the refreshing swim.

“No… I don’t want to risk it,” hesitated the Pessimist, “knowing my luck, I’ll be the next thing on that crocodile’s lunch menu.”

 

If the optimist heard his answer, he was making no attempt to show it, for by now he was already in the river, having dived in in a way only an optimist could.

The water certainly was cool and refreshing – murky but cool and refreshing.

 

“Come on in,” called the Optimist as he confidently looked about “see, there’s nothing to fear here.”

“No…,” again the Pessimist hesitated, sticking to his pessimistic convictions.

“OK,” resigned the Optimist, and continued on his aquatic frolic.

 

“What was that!” hissed the Pessimist. The optimist stopped and looked around, checking.

“Ahh, it was nothing. Probably just me splashing about” reassured the Optimist.

“No, I swear I heard something. I’m sure it was a crocodile. I told you they were around here. You’d better get out before it grabs you!”

“Man, you must watch too much TV,” whinged the Optimist, “we haven’t seen any crocodiles up here yet and we’ve been here for over two weeks.

“You know, it’s always that way with you people. The glass is always half empty, isn’t it. I mean, you’re never happy, you’re always looking for ways for things to go wrong, you’re always worried AAAAH….”

 

The Optimist’s preaching head suddenly disappeared into a churning wash of dirty water. No. It was pulled.

 

The Pessimist looked on in horror. The very thing he feared was now happening right before his eyes, and he was powerless to do anything about it. Within a minute, the threshing of the waters had stopped, leaving only a slick of blood.

The Pessimist, almost fainting, struggled back to the car, dragging his heart on the dirt behind him.

 

When he sat in the car, he stopped to collect his thoughts. It could have been five minutes, or five hours. He didn’t care and it didn’t matter. The ironic thought occurred to him how rotten his luck was that he’d have to be the one to break the news that yet another Optimist had died of his own naivety.

 

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