Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Fool and hIs shoes

Once upon a time...

There was a young man who left home to make himself in the world. His family wasn't wealthy. So, his mother and father could only give him a loaf of bead and a pair of shoes. He promised to take good care of them and left home.

He traveled all day along the road. When the sun was low in the sky, he thought it would be a good idea to stop for the night to rest. He didn't see a town or a house along the road. All he could see was a poor man sitting on the side of the road. The young man went to him and asked, “Is there a town or house near here where I could find shelter for the night?”

The beggar looked at the young man and shook his head. “I'm sorry. There is nothing out here, only me.”

“Well,” said the young man. “Two is often better than one. So, if you don't mind the company, I will sit with you here for the night and share my bread.”

The beggar smiled. “Please do! I have not had company or bread for a long time.”

The young man sat next to the beggar and shared the bread. They talked long into the evening. Leaning against the tree, the young man finally went to sleep.

When he woke in the morning, the beggar was gone. But on his shoes, were written the words, “Further Wisdom flies on the wings of Fools.”

The young man was shocked and disappointed. “Well, it looks like I learned that sharing bread with beggars will lead to them writing on your shoes.” Not knowing what else to do, the young man got up and continued down the road.

The road was very long. it continued all the way out to a great cliff that overlooked the sea. Not far from the cliff was a little island. The young man could see a beautiful island with two great bridges leading in from the coastline, one from the left and one from the right.
The young man looked to his left and right, and could see that he could go either way.  He could not see down the road very well in either direction. He shrugged and began his journey to his left.

The young man walked all day and all night, dreaming of the beautiful city. And when the sun rose, the next day, he found himself on the same cliff overlooking the sea and staring at the beautiful city. “Well, that's strange,” he said. “I didn't see any other roads to get to the city. Maybe I missed something.” He turned left again and began again. He took his time this time to make sure he didn't miss anything. Walking all day and all night, it was an hour after the sun rose in the morning that he found himself at the same cliff, overlooking the beautiful city.

“Wow! What a waste of time,” he exclaimed. “I walked all that way twice. I stubbed my toes, got four blisters, fought off a wolf, and slept under a pine tree just to end up back here again!” He turned to the right. “At least, I know the way is this way now.” The young man started off down the road to the right.

As he walked, he dreamed of owning a big house and finding a wonderful spouse to share it with. He dreamed of working at a fun job that made him happy. Then, he dreamed of children playing between the shining houses of the city. He walked all day and night. Just as the sun rose high in the sky, he found himself at the same cliff, overlooking the beautiful city.

The young man got mad. “I can't believe it! I'm hungry and tired. I walked all that way and I still am not at that city!” He thought really hard. He didn't remember any other roads, paths, or secret ways he missed. “I'm doing it again!,” he yelled at the sea. “And this time, I will get there!”

The young man took the road right. He walked slowly and checked everything that looked like it might be road or path. He checked for any highway, biway, leyway, backway, sideway, and pathway. He looked around boulders along the road. He walked all day and night. When the sun rose high in the sky and the birds decided it was time for teatime, he found himself at the same cliff, over looking the city.

The young man yelled at the sky and frightened the birds off their tea. “I can't believe it!” He looked left. “I am sure it is not that way.” He looked right. “I'm really sure it isn't that way.” He looked behind him. “I know for certain, it is not that way.” Not knowing what to do, he threw up his hands and sighed. Then, he looked down at his shoes.

They were a little worn but the shoes had held up fine, even with the rocks, stubbed toes, and blisters. They had lost a little of their color and they certainly felt more like a part of his feet that ever before. But the words that the beggar had written on them were just as clear as the morning they were written. “Further Wisdom flies on the wings of Fools.”

“It sure does! I have been a long way trying to get to that city!” The young man yelled at his shoes. “I have walked and ran, and I am not any closer to that city. It isn't to left. I have been that way twice! It isn't to the right. I have been that way twice too! It appears that if I want to get to the city I will have to...” He stopped in mid sentence.

He looked back over the sea to the beautiful city. It was there. It wasn't a dream. It was real. That had been decided already. But at the next thought, he made no more hesitation. He backed up a few paces, turned towards the cliff, and ran. When he got to the edge, he made an extraordinary leap into the air and over the cliff, towards the crashing waves of the sea and the island with the beautiful city.

His shoes sprouted wings and he flew away.

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