I thought that we ought to have another thread to go along with quotes: What's you favorite parable?
Heres one I like from Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo:
In China, there once was a man who liked pictures of dragons, and his clothing and furnishings were all designed accordingly. His deep affection for dragons was brought to the attention of the dragon god, and one day a real dragon appeared before his window. It is said that he died of fright.