Some fishermen came to a lake.
The wisest fish was ready. "I won't ask other fish for advice," she thought. "They'll only hold me back." She escaped to the sea.
A less wise fish watched her go but didn't follow. "I should have gone with her," she thought, "but I can still die to this life." She floated in the water as if dead, and the fishermen ignored her. Thus she escaped.
A third fish had no wisdom at all. As she splashed and thrashed, the fishermen caught her, and into their frying-pan she went. The foolish fish didn't escape.
Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in More Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 118 in the book; I chose feminine pronouns for the fish. Compare the traditional Indian version: Big-Wit, Half-Wit, and Witless.