(This is actually an old Hasidic Jewish story attributed to the great story-teller and mystic, Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav, who was active in the first third of the 19th Century in what is now Byelorus, but was then the "Pale of Permitted Jewish Settlement" west of Moscow. I used this as an appendix in the 3rd edition of my Foundations of Psychodrama book, but there wasn't room in the 4th edition, with all the other stuff I added. So here it is:
-- Adam Blatner)
Once there was a prince who fell into the delusion that he was a rooster. He took off his clothes, squatted under the table, and ate only grain or crumbs. The king sent for many doctors, but none of them could cure the prince. Finally, a wise man appeared before the king and said, "I think I can heal the prince," and the king gave him permission to try.
The sage removed his clothes and, joining the prince under the table, began to munch at some grain and crow like a rooster. The prince looked at him suspiciously and asked, "Who are you and what are you doing here?" The wise man responded with the same question. The prince replied, "I am a rooster!" "Oh, really?" said the sage. "So am I!" After a while they became friends.
When the sage felt the prince had grown accustomed to his presence, he signaled for a shirt and put it on. The prince confronted him belligerently: "Are you crazy? Are you forgetting who you are? Are you trying to be a man?" The wise man replied, "You mustn't believe that a rooster who dresses like a man ceases to be a rooster." The prince thought about this for a while, and then he put a shirt on, too. After a time the sage signaled to have food put under the table. "Wretch! What are you doing?" protested the prince, "Are you going to eat like them now?" The wise man allayed his fears: "Don't be upset. A rooster can eat the food humans eat and still be a good rooster." The prince considered this for a time, and then he began to eat food
Finally, the wise man said, "Do you think a rooster has to sit under the table all the time? He can get up and walk around if he wants to and still be a good rooster." The prince then followed the wise man up from under the table and began to walk. "Remember," the sage said, "you can do anything with man in his world and yet remain the rooster you are." The prince was convinced and resumed his life as a person.
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