Go Slow…If You Wish To Arrive Early
October 29, 2016 5 Comments
One morning a trader obtained asubstantial order for coconuts from a temple in a nearby village. They had to be delivered well in time for the pooja on the following morning. It was a snappy call to action. There was no time to look for help. He climbed up the trees at the back and knocked off the coconuts onto the ground below. These were collected and loaded onto his donkey with some effort and more ropes. Once done, he was happy with himself for managing it all with just one beast – two of them would have made it easier to pack but trickier to manage on the road single-handedly.
Not losing time he made inquiries about the route and headed for the village with his donkey to deliver the coconuts personally – the business was too important to leave it with hired hands.
Though the sun was not high up yet, a couple of hours on the road had tired him out and his animal. He took a break under the shade of a banyan tree.
Just then a shepherd passed by driving his flock ahead of him.
The trader hailed him: ‘Hey, here, how long does it to take to reach the temple?’
When he looked at him from close he regretted ever asking the shepherd who was plain-as-nose dim-witted.
The shepherd gazed at the trader and his donkey now ready to resume the journey, his gaze going back and forth a couple of times over the duo.
His eyes crinkled at the effort of producing a response: ‘Babuji, at a swift pace you’ll reach the temple from here by sun-set.’
The shepherd moved on to keep up with his flock, not before offering his counsel: ‘On the other hand, go slow and you’ll be there in a couple of hours, I guess – well before noon.’
The fellow quite patently didn’t have his marbles in place – the trader cursed himself for his own stupidity.
Refreshed from the break, he set out at a brisk pace.
To cut the long story short, they finished their journey together – the trader and the donkey on the road and the sun above.
A much relieved priest collected his consignment of coconuts from the trader still stricken with severe back-pain – an unfortunate outcome, not entirely unexpected, from bending down so often to pick up the scattered coconuts that fell off the donkey’s back every time it was goaded to speed – a mishap never later than ten minutes in recurrence.
Source: Inspired by a tale from Philippines found at pitt.edu/~dash/folktexts2.html and image from animalsclipart.com