Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A man, his son and a donkey

Once upon a time, there was a man and his son living in a small village. They own a donkey that they use to transport goods from their village to the nearest town, which is about half-a-day by foot.

[What? That's not a donkey?

Yes, you're very observant. The picture above is not one of a donkey. It is a zebra that does not have any place in the current story. But because I don't have a copy righted picture of a donkey, I used the zebra instead. It looks almost similar to the donkey. Lets get back to the story, shall we?]

So, one day, the father and son headed to town with goods such as bananas, cookies, and cheese to sell. The goods were were loaded onto the donkey. Sometimes, the father would ride the donkey. Sometimes the son would ride the donkey. Sometimes they both of them walked.

On the way to town, they saw several villagers tending to their business such as milking cows, harvesting fruits, collecting eggs, and so on. None of them were surfing the web as they had no internet access and they dont even have computers. So, the villagers did what villagers were supposed to do back then. 

When they arrived in town, they set up a place to sell their goods in the centre of the market. While entertaining a rich man who wanted to buy cookies, one man approached them and was huffing and puffing when he said, "What an awful thing for you to do. Did you have no sense of kindness?"

The father was taken by surprised by this sudden accusation.
"What do you mean sir?"

" came to town. Both of you, and a donkey. You both were riding the donkey. At the same time! Abominable indeed!"

The rich man was understandably distracted. His thoughts turned from cookies to donkey.
"Is it true? That the donkey carried both of you and the goods?" asked the rich men.

"No Sir!" the son protested. "We have never even met this man," continued the son while pointing to his accuser.

"Is it true? That you have never met these two villagers?" asked the rich men to the accuser.

"Well....yes. But...we know how the story goes," the man entered a defensive mode.

"What story?" asked the rich man.

"Well... you know... the one about a donkey, a father, and his son. The father would ride the donkey, and people would mock the father for forcing his son to walk. Then the son would ride the donkey, and people would mock the son for having no pity towards his father. Then both of them wold walk, and people would mock both of them for not making use of the donkey. When both of them rode the donkey, people would get angry at them for being cruel to the donkey. That's the story." The accuser finished his story with a self-satisfied smile on his face.

The rich man, stroking his beard while listening to the story, did not miss a beat and followed the story with a clarification question. "So, you're accusing these two people based on that story? Not because of what your two eyes see?"

"If you put it that way, yes," answered the man.

Upon hearing the answer, the rich man planted a hard slap on the man's face, effectively wiping out the self-satisfied smile.

"What was that for?" protested the man in anger.

"Well... I once heard a story. An eagle flew high. And then it saw a small deer on the ground. When the eagle swooped down, it was surprised to see that the deer was in fact a lion. It was very surprised but could not break his speed. So, the eagle crashed into the lion. And both of them died."

The man and the son watched the bewildered expression of the man's face as he listened to the story.

"What does that have to do with you slapping me just now?" he attacked the rich man.

"If you can tell me what your story have to do with your accusation, I will tell you how my story have to do with the slapping."

With that terms, the accuser turned away. Knowing that he could not justify his accusation. In fact, he did not even know why he made the accusation in the first place. May be it was a reflex action based on what he is used to think.

The rich man ended up buying all the goods from the villager and his son. He then gave away all the goods to poor people, except the cookies.

The man and his son, and the donkey, went back to the village with lots of money. They would take turns riding the donkey. They still feels eyes were following them and criticising their every move. But when they think about the rich man, they smiled. The son in particular, had formulated a thought, 'I want to be like that rich man'.


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