Painting of engineering professors milling around outside a plane.

The Parable of the Engineering Professors On the Plane

This is a modern parable, or perhaps merely a joke. Either way, its origins are unknown, draping it the alluring shroud of mystery. This particular version was written by the fabulist Juan Artola Miranda.

Not so long ago, in a place not so far from here, there was a conference of engineering professors. These professors were invited to take a journey on a plane built as a tribute to their teachings. They were honoured, but as they settled into their seats, a messenger entered the cabin and announced that the plane had been constructed by their very own students.

Upon hearing this news, all the professors, except one, sprang up from their seats and dashed towards the exit, their hearts racing with fear. They clamoured and pushed to escape the aircraft, convinced it would plummet from the sky.

The last professor sat calmly in his seat, a slight smile playing on his lips. Curious and puzzled, the other professors hesitated, “Why are you not afraid?”

The professor replied, “I know my students, all their strengths and weaknesses, and I am certain that the engine will not even start.”

Hearing this, the other professors realized their colleague was right. They relaxed and went back to their seats.

Juan Artola Miranda

I am Juan Artola Miranda, a fabulist living in the Mexican Caribbean. My friends know me by the name of my father's father, but that name grew into something bigger, my writing reaching tens of millions of readers. It was too strong for me to control. Artola Miranda is the name of my mother's mother. It's a better name for a fabulist.

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