03 Dec The Man And His Precious Cow
THE MAN AND HIS PRECIOUS COW
Once upon a time, a man had three sons and a cow. He valued the cow so much and did everything to ensure that the cow was in good condition. His sons didn’t care about the immense love he showed to the cow. They didn’t care if he showed them such love or not. The cow was their only source of income because he kept giving birth to huge calves that they would sell at the market, and they would make lots of money which would take care of them for a long time.
One day, the man got very sick, and everyone around him told him to take a break and relax. He finally gave in to their demands and rested, but while he rested, there was no one to take his precious cow out for grazing. The man was so protective of his cow that he never allowed any of his sons to take the cow out, but when he fell sick, he knew that he needed to allow one of his sons to do it. So he called his first son into his room.
“My son,” he addressed him.
“Yes, papa,” the son answered.
“I want you to take my cow out for grazing. Ensure that you take good care of her. If anything should happen to her, I will have your head. Do you understand?”
“I understand, papa.”
“Okay. Go now. I’m sure that she is hungry.”
So the first son took the precious cow to the field for grazing. He took the cow to the field, where green grass grew, and then to the water hole for a nice long drink. The cow enjoyed herself, and when she had her fill, the first son took her back home. Immediately she got home, the man rushed to her and asked her.
“My cow, did you have enough to eat?”
“Hmm”, the cow replied. “Your wicked son took me to the
wilderness where no grass grows. Then he tied me up and went to sleep.”
The man got very angry with his eldest son and threw him out of the house. The eldest son was left alone; he wandered through the green meadows and parched lands and waded across little ponds until he arrived at a farmhouse. At the farmhouse, he met a very kind farmer. The eldest son told his tale to the farmer, and the farmer took pity on him and took him in. He taught him how to farm both in the rainy and dry seasons. When he was sure the young man had learnt enough, he called him aside one day.
“Soon, I will have to send you back to your father. That way, you can teach him how to farm, and he won’t be so dependent on that wicked cow.”
The man, who was still sick, needed someone to take his precious cow out for grazing, and he called his second son into his quarters.
“My son, you know that I had to send your brother out of this house because he didn’t take good care of my cow. You know that cow is our only source of livelihood. Now, I want you to take her out grazing. If you repeat the same mistake that your brother did, I will have your head.”
“I won’t let you down, papa,” the second son said. He then went out and took the cow to the green field, where he fed her well.
He gave her a thorough bath and tied her to a tree to allow her dry. Just then, the farmer came around to the field. He saw his cow tied to a tree.
“Have you eaten?” the man asked the cow.
“Hmm”, the cow replied. “Your wicked son took me to the wilderness where no grass grows. Then he tied me up and went to sleep.”
The man was very angry again, so he threw his second son out of the house. His son wandered for days till he met a blacksmith. The blacksmith taught him how to make tools for farming. One day, when he was sure that the boy had learnt enough, he called him aside and said.
“Soon, I will have to send you back to your father. That way you can teach him how to make farm tools, and he won’t have to depend so much on that wicked cow.”
One day, the man needed someone to take his cow grazing, so he called his third son into his room.
“My son, you know what your two brothers did and how I sent them out of the house. Now, you are my favourite son, and I don’t want to do the same to you. So, please, when you take my cow out for grazing, ensure that nothing bad happens to him, or else, I will have your head.”
“I promise you, papa. I will take good care of him.”
So the third son took the cow out for grazing. He took her to the green fields and fed her, and bathed her. When he tied her to a tree to dry, his father came around.
“Cow”, he asked. “Did you have enough to eat?”
“Hmm”, the cow replied. “Your favourite son is just as wicked as his brothers. He took to the wilderness where no grass grows. Then he tied me up here to die.”
The man was so angry that he beat his son and threw him out. He didn’t listen to his plea. His third son wandered till he met a scholar. The scholar taught him how to read and write. And when he was sure that the boy had learnt enough, he called him aside and said.
“One day, I will send you back to your father so that you can teach him how to read and write, and he won’t be so dependent on that wicked cow.”
One day after the man had kicked all his sons out, he needed someone to graze his cow, so he took him out to the field. He gave him green grass to eat and then bathed him. When he tied him to a tree to allow him to dry, he asked, “Cow, did you have enough to eat.”
The cow laughed. “You’re a hypocrite like your sons. You took me into the wilderness. You gave me no food and no water. Then you ask me if I’m full?!”
The man got very angry. “So my sons have been feeding you. You have been lying to me all this while. You are very wicked.”
He beat the cow up and tied him to a tree to allow him to die. He then went into town to look for his sons. He searched for days, but he couldn’t find any of them. Finally, he gave up and went back home, heartbroken.
One day, he decided to go to the market to buy foodstuffs. When he got there, he was very tired, so he slumped and fainted. This created a scene, attracting everyone, including his eldest son, who had come to sell his farm produce, his second son, who had come to sell his farm tools, and his third son, who had come to buy foodstuffs, rushed to the scene.
When the man woke up, he was very happy to see his sons; he pulled them in for a hug. He asked for their forgiveness and pleaded with them to come back home. “My eyes were opened long ago. You are more precious to me than a cow.”
Family is very important and should never be played with.