The Dog, The Tortoise, and The Farmer
The dog, The Tortoise, and The Farmer
A long time ago, in a land far far away, where the animals could talk and relate well with themselves. A great famine took over the land and left them all broken. The famine started most unpredictably; no one expected it. They prayed for months for the famine to end because hunger ravaged the land, but that didn’t happen.
Soon, their strength began to fail, and their skin turned pale. Nothing done could alleviate the problem. So the king said, “I will call a meeting with my people to discuss how we will solve this issue.”
On the day of the meeting, all the animals in the kingdom arrived at the venue late because they were weak, tired, hungry, and couldn’t walk briskly. When they arrived at the palace, they slumped and sat on the ground. The king noticed how bad and unkempt his people were looking. However, he started the meeting.
“My people, I called us here to discuss what we are going to do to change the situation on the ground. As you can see, we are all very hungry and in need of assistance. So every idea will go a long way in helping us out of our current predicament.”
After the king finished speaking, nobody answered him. All he heard was the grumbling of his people. He realized that the meeting was futile. After all, nobody could think on an empty stomach. He sighed and went back to his seat. He was tired and weary too; he had had nothing to eat for months.
“Okay, it seems we will not find any solution to our problem today. You can all go back to your homes. If need be, I will call on you again.”
“So, you just called us here for no reason?” the monkey said, angrily.
“You are our king. You are supposed to have an answer in times like this, and you are telling us that you don’t know what will help us?” the pigs shouted in unison.
All the animals became angry. It was so easy for them to get angry. After all, hunger and anger are brothers.
After they were done shouting at the king, they all left angrily. As the animals walked by, Tortoise noticed that Dog was not looking lean like the other animals. With his last strength, he got up from the floor, where he lay, and tried catching up with Dog.
“Dog, my dear friend. Please wait for me!” he screamed as he crawled, trying to meet up with him.
“My goodness, what fast paces you have!” he exclaimed when he finally caught up with him. All Dog did was smile and wait for Tortoise to get to the point.
“My dear friend Dog. What is your secret?” Tortoise finally said when he realized Dog was waiting for him to speak.
“What are you talking about?” Dog responded.
“Oh come off it. I know that you are doing something. You are not as lean as the other animals are. Tell me your secret, my dear friend, and I promise I won’t tell anyone else.”
“I don’t have any secret,” Dog responded. The more Tortoise insisted, the more he kept telling Tortoise that he doesn’t have any secret.
“Okay, if you do not have any secret, how come you are still so healthy while the rest of us are not?” Tortoise asked.
“Well, that’s because I work very hard. This you know very well my friend,” Dog replied.
“So, you don’t have any secret?” Tortoise asked again.
“I don’t,” Dog replied. With that, they went their different ways, but Tortoise was still unsatisfied with what he heard. He knew that Dog was lying. So he decided to follow his friend and spy on him.
Early in the morning, around 1:00 am, Tortoise went to Dog’s house and waited for Dog to wake up. He was determined to know all that Dog does from morning to night. At 3:00 am, Dog opened his front door and started walking out of his compound with a basket under his arms. Tortoise followed him
Tortoise was very careful to hide behind trees and rocks as he followed Dog to avoid being seen by him. Dog went to another village far from their neighbours, and Tortoise followed quietly. When Dog got to that village, Tortoise watched him walk directly to the beautiful yam farm.
Immediately, Tortoise flew out from his hiding spot and showed himself to Dog. “Ah, I have caught you now!” he exclaimed.
Out of fear, Dog got down on his knees and begged Tortoise not to report him to the king because he knew he would be killed if the king found out that he was stealing.
“Okay, I won’t report you. But I will be collecting some of these yams as well.”
“Okay. You can take some but ensure that you don’t tell anybody about it cause if you do, we will be dead.”
“I understand,” Tortoise replied with a smile on his face.
So, Dog and Tortoise went about harvesting the yams every day, but as every day passed, Dog realized that the quantity that Tortoise was always taking was more than what he (Dog) used to carry, and because of his greed, they always left the farm near dawn.
One faithful day, Dog complained. “You need to stop packing yams like that. Last time, we left the farm by 5:45 am. The farmer may catch us one day if we keep leaving the farm that late.”
“The farmer won’t catch us,” Tortoise replied. “I am packing so many yams to keep for when the rain starts. My dear friend, I am barely saving for a rainy day. So relax; nothing is going to happen,” Tortoise tried to reassure his friend.
The next day, the two friends went out to harvest more yams, and as usual, Tortoise packed a lot of yams, but this time, his friend Dog did not wait for him.
“Dog, my dear friend Dog, please come back. My basket is too heavy, and I cannot lift it on my own,” Tortoise screamed at his friend for help. The Dog did not stop to help him, instead, he turned back and said, “If the basket is too heavy, remove some of the yams and carry what you can?”
“No, I cannot do that,” Tortoise replied.
“And I cannot help you,” Dog told him and walked away.
Tortoise struggled with his basket till it was 6:15 am, and the farmer met him on his farm. When the farmer saw Tortoise on his farm with his yams in a basket, he shouted, alerting the neighbours. When the villagers came to the scene, they beat Tortoise and took him to the king.
As soon as the matter got to the king, the king sentenced Tortoise to death.
Dog witnessed everything. At that moment, he realized the injustice he has been doing to the farmer by stealing his yams. So he threw himself on the floor and decided to never steal again.
Do not be greedy and do not steal.