A comet was coming to Earth.
And everyone on Earth knew a comet was coming.
All the animals in the great forest met to discuss the situation.
Chang the elephant thundered, “Let’s throw a big rock at it. If we can hit the comet hard enough we can break it or knock it out of the way.
Gwang the deer meekly disagreed. Would you notice a single fly landing on your back? The biggest stone we could find would be smaller than that compared to the comet. Our only chance is to run away and hide while we still can.
“Where will you run?” asked Tau the turtle, “there is nowhere on land or sea that will not shake, burn or choke in a cloud of dust. Even if we outrun the blast, we will starve before the harsh winter that will surely follow. No. All we can do is concentrate our thoughts on the comet and ask it to change its path.
“That’s your plan?” snorted Chang, “politely ask it to leave? Does a mountain choose its height? Can a wave choose not to come ashore? A comet cannot be persuaded by threats or kindness. It has no choice and neither do we.”
At that moment a small voice from the branch of a nearby tree called out, “Can you please be quiet? I’m trying to take a nap.”
“Meaw” the elephant said to the cat, “The comet is coming, and we must do something.”
The cat yawned and stretched and licked his paw. ”It doesn’t seem like that big of a problem.”
“We’re all going to die,” Gwang said. “That’s a huge problem.”
Meaw blinked slowly.
“If it’s not that big of a problem,” said Tau the turtle, “perhaps you can take care of it.”
“If it means getting back to my nap, then fine.” said Meaw.
The cat climbed to the top of the highest mountain and waited for the comet to come. Before long, Meaw had curled up on the most comfortable rock he could find. As he slept, the comet began streaking down through the sky. All the animals saw the comet and yelled loudly at the cat.
The cat yawned and stretched and started licking his tail.
The comet watched the cat on the top of the mountain and was suddenly worried.
It couldn’t remember the last time it had cleaned its tail. And it had just travelled through a particularly dirty part of the Oort cloud and the muddiest ring of Saturn. The comet tried to turn its head back to inspect its tail and ended up changing its course.
There was a bright flash in the sky as the comet veered away from the mountain – up, up and away from the Earth entirely. All the animals in the forest cheered. They all wanted to thank the cat for saving them but they couldn’t find him anywhere. Thinking that their hero might have died in the encounter, the animals of the forest began to cry.
A voice from a tree said “I thought you said you were going to let me sleep”
Moral: Coincidence can sometimes be more powerful than the most cunning plan.