top of page
  • Writer's pictureRoger Grant

Farmer and the Snake

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Photo credit: Painting by Xu Bei Hong (1895-1953)

A farmer was worried about his chicken farm. He decided to take a walk in the jungle, and he came across a snake. The farmer stopped and got mesmerized by the snake.

"What's worrying you?" the snake seemed to ask.

"I need to sell more chickens", the farmer said. 

"Are you sure?", the snake asked. 

"Yes, I really need this", the farmer replied. 

The snake arose with power, flared its hood and stared into the farmer's eyes: "Throw your prize rooster into the fire." And in an instant, it slithered away into the jungle.

The farmer shook in horror. Was it a dream? He stumbled back to his farm.

That night he started a fire and brought his prize rooster. The snake reappeared right next to him.

"This is going to hurt. What if I decide to pull the rooster out halfway?" the farmer asked the snake.

"Every death is painful. And if you pull out halfway, you'll just get barbecued chicken", the snake replied.

"What if I follow all the way through?", the farmer asked.

"Then you'll get the success that you want", the snake reassured him.

"What if I'm not tough enough?", the farmer asked.

"Then this is all talk-cock sing-song", the snake replied.

The farmer had fierce courage in him. He picked up his prized rooster and threw it into the flames. The rooster shrieked in pain and flapped wildly. The farmer remained strong and resilient. 

Slowly the shrieks died away. Silence filled the night. 

"What have I done?", the farmer said with regret. He watched the fire die away together with his prized rooster. In the dying embers, he saw something move. A gust of wind swept in, and in the cloud of ashes rose a phoenix.

What are you holding on to that is blocking you from who you are, the business you are here to build, in the way only you can build it?

If you like reading more about leadership and change, join our newsletter, stay inspired here.


PERSONNA is a leadership development company focused on the people side of transformation. We hold a simple belief that everyone is an extraordinary and powerful force for positive change. When you make work personal, naturally you become a better leader.

We’re here to help people become better leaders, build highly-effective teams, and create a culture of trust & collaboration in their organisations. We provide leadership branding, leadership coaching and group experiences. If you are curious to learn more drop us an email to

7 views0 comments


bottom of page