The Wise Tortoise
Once upon a time, in the animal kingdom, there was hunger in the land. The Lion was killing other animals for food, making the other animals unhappy with the Lion but afraid to confront the Lion for fear of their own lives.
Eventually they got together and devised a means to put the Lion in a cage. Their plan was successful and the Lion stayed in the cage for weeks without food or drink.
One day, a certain young boy was passing by the cage. The Lion, seeing the boy, pleaded with him to come to its rescue. At first, the boy refused but after much persuasion, he became compassionate and agreed to free it on one condition: that the Lion will not kill him upon its release, without hesitating, the lion agreed and the boy opened the cage.
As soon as the Lion came out, it thanked the boy but pleaded with him further to complete the good work he had started. How? The boy should present himself as food for the hungry lion! Reminding the lion of their agreement, the boy retorted, “Why do you want to repay a good thing with a bad thing?”
The Lion replied, saying: “In the present world, bad things are used to repay good things. Good deeds are repaid with evil”.
After a very long debate, both of them, boy and lion, decided to ask any three animals to confirm whether good is used to repay evil or vice versa (good for good/evil for evil). If all the animals say that bad things were used to repay good things, the Lion would devour the boy but if otherwise, the boy would be free.
The first animal they met was Goat who said, “It is true that bad things are used to repay good things. I am a living example. My faeces is used as manure for farming but when the crops are harvested, I am NEVER allowed to taste what my faeces produced. Human beings always pursue and prevent me from tasting any part of the product from my dung”
Then, the Lion turned to the boy and said, “1:0.”
So, they went to the dog and the dog said, “Bad things are used to repay good things. Everybody knows that I go into the bush for hunting. I assist faithfully to kill an animal and when it is time for that same animal to be eaten, all I get as reward are bones. Besides, at night while others sleep I stay awake keeping watch and even used oftentimes as a sacrificial lamb for the thief’s bullet.”
Again, the Lion turned to the boy and said, 2:0 “One more chance.”
The third and last animal they met was the tortoise. In answering the question, Tortoise said: “Before I give you my response, I need to know how this argument started and, also, we have to go to where it started.”
So the trio went to where the argument began and the boy narrated the whole story and scenario . Then Tortoise asked the boy:
“Where was the Lion the first time you met him?”
“In the cage,” the boy responded”
“Go back into the cage,” Tortoise told the Lion. So Lion entered the cage.
When the Lion went back into the cage, Tortoise asked the boy:
“Was the cage open or locked at that time?” He answered: “It was locked”
Then Tortoise locked the cage and said to the lucky boy, “Let’s go. There is nothing more to say.”
Always seek to hear a story from its start off point before commenting or passing judgement. The two other witnesses were not wrong from their point of view, they are grieving based on what has been meted out to them but applied wrongly in the boy’s case.
Let’s be careful of the narratives if we are not the ones involved in a particular situation, it’s the same sun that melts ice/wax that hardens clay. Think before you speak. God bless