10 people had read the fable so far, but none of them believed it. Here is why:

1.  The first person was too fatalistic to put much stock in anything, and so he avoided metaphors as much as possible. He favored literal weights and truths, such as how much things cost, or the study of history through a scientific prism.
2.  The second person was really romantic and projected his personality onto everything.  He believed deeply in the fable, citing it conversationally, much to the annoyance of his friends.  Then his latest love affair went sour, and he disavowed not only the fable, but all things associated with the epoch of his love, up to and including certain sweaters.
3.  The third person was a mystic, and believed in everything.  Therefore his belief in the fable means, relatively, nothing.
4 & 5:  The fourth and fifth persons had a baby, and thus little time for reading.
6.  The sixth person loved reading and ideas.  Because he was so widely read, he recognized that the fable was derivative of several in the Coptic Christian tradition.  He preferred the originals, and is currently working on new translations.
7.  The seventh person could not read, because he was the baby of the fourth and fifth.  Because his parents made little time for reading, preoccupied as they were with his development and maitenance, he devalued reading and was more devoted to visuals, as was the wont of his generation.  He went on to hate his parents.
8.  The eighth person was a nightmare labyrinth of denial, illusion, and self-deception.  Therefore, he did not really know what he believed about anything.  He would take apart the fable from about twenty or thirty different angles, devolving it into a shapeless, shimmering mass of grey.  He is in love with the sixth person, but has not yet recognized it.
9.  The ninth person is an optimist.  He does not believe that he has any of the usual human frailties or foibles, and therefore has no use for fables.  One day, something bad will happen to him, and he will almost remember the fable, but not quite.
10.  The tenth person wrote the fable for fun, but came to see that it represented an unfolding of a weird little corner of his psyche.  Rereading it many years later, he was creeped out by how immature he was at the time.  He would be glad to know that nobody ever really took the fable seriously.  The problem is that the fable is better than he perceived it, and could have illuminated several small moments for the people involved.

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