The Importance of Ten Fingers

Left Hand Thumb awoke from its prone position and peered up at Left Hand First Finger. Its first reaction was one of inferiority. First Finger towered above it, making Thumb feel small and insignificant. Then it began to ponder upon its advantages over the other fingers. Without it, First and Second Fingers were incapacitated. They could do nothing without Thumb’s assistance. They could grasp nothing by themselves. Thumb, upon sensing its importance, began to take on a very pompous air.
First Finger happened to glance down. It saw the pretentious smirking of Thumb and was irritated by its demeanor.
“What are you, Small Thumb, being so pompous about?”, it asked.
“You may think you are high and mighty,” Thumb arrogantly replied, “but without me you are nothing!”
“Nothing, you say!” shouted First Finger in anger. “Look at your position! You can never be equal to me. You will always have to look up to me since I have the privilege of superior height. Therefore, you are beneath me!”
Left Hand Thumb fumed. Oh, the arrogance of First Finger!
Thumb shouted back, “I repeat, you are nothing without me! There’s nothing you can grasp without my help. If it weren’t for me, you would be worthless and of no use whatsoever!”
“How dare you speak to me in that manner!” screamed First Finger. “Your ugliness is indescribable. Why you…. ”
“Now who’s being pompous?” interrupted Left Hand Second Finger. “All of you are inferior to me. I am the tallest monument on this hand. I loom above you and over you. Neither of you can imitate my gestures of disrespect and defiance. I am the most articulate!”
“Oh, you think you alone are articulate?” retorted First Finger. “I also can gesticulate in disrespect!”
Thumb was listening attentively to this discourse and he remembered his articulations.
“Well,” he interrupted. “You two can only show disrespect, whereas I, alone, can gesture with pleasure or displeasure. Being so vulgar as you two are is true banality!”
First and Second Fingers glowered down at Thumb and were at a loss for words. Thumb had piqued and degraded them. Their silence was total.
Then a sweet lilting voice was heard. “All of you can speak only of superiority and inferiority, of respect and disrespect. Well, have you ever been aware of me?” This was the voice of demure Third Finger.
Both Fingers and Thumb turned to it with surprise. What was this finger of non-importance trying to say? Third Finger seemed to rise in height, a glow of happiness and pride exuding from it.
“Without me there would be no symbol of happiness. Don’t you see this ring encircling me? This is the band of a loving union. I am the most significant finger on this hand. Without me there could be no acknowledgment of marriage. Without me where would the gold and diamond industries be? Only I am garnished with their precious jewels and metals. The rest of you are poor relatives!”
Thumb, First and Second Fingers stared at Third Finger in stupefaction. They had been made to feel impotent. This useless Third Finger, that could do nothing, was using its incompetent adornments to belittle them.
A boisterous laugh rang out, disrupting their overwrought emotions. There, pointing skyward, was Little Finger in all its majestic petite-ness.
“I see all of you have your pious opinions of yourselves,” it mockingly said. “Well, let me tell you something. I alone give dignity to this hand. When the rest of you are grabbing and jabbing with knife and fork, like ravenous beasts, I am the only one with gentility. I am the one who shows good breeding by standing aloof during this gorging and keeping myself poised high with dignity. Have the rest of you ever been conscious of your bad manners?”
The three fingers and Thumb were dumfounded by the arrogance of Little Finger. This midget, this dwarfish protrusion from Hand was trying to proclaim its superiority over all of them.
Thumb reached around inside Palm, trying to push Little Finger back into its unobtrusive position. First and Second Fingers were incapable of touching it. Third Finger stretched as far as possible to give it a shove.
“Heh! What’s going on there?” yelled a powerful voice from the right.
All three fingers and Thumb halted in their attack on Little Finger. Spinning around to see who dared to interrupt them, they saw Right Hand, with all four fingers and thumb, making a fist at them in readiness to attack. They shamefacedly settled down with respect to the power and strength of Right Hand.
All four fingers and Thumb on Right Hand rose in haughty grandeur. “We don’t want to hear any more ridiculous rumblings from any of you! You know that in comparison to us your station is subservient. You whine with discontentment among yourselves when you should be working together as a unit. We’re the powerful and superior ones because we’re united!” They looked among themselves with saccharine satisfaction.
Left Hand Thumb and four fingers turned to each other in silent conference. Then in one sudden swift movement, Left Hand Thumb jerked upwards, pivoted itself on Nose and all four fingers stood erect and fluttered in the air!
It was the first time they had ever agreed on anything. They were united at last!