A Wise Chief Of Old
Only The Wise Can Tell
Long, long, ago somewhere in Africa when all the people and animals were new… There was a chief of a large area and many people, who became known for his wisdom. As the knowledge of him grew, more and more came to seek this great chief’s counsel, on matters hard to solve. There was a day when things changed greatly for the chief. This happened on a day, a normal day, like any other day, when two men came seeking the chief’s wisdom, on a simple matter of theft. The surprising events that were about to transpire, would lead to a new future for the chief, quite shortly:
The Chief Who Was No Fool
An old man and his younger neighbour approached the chief. Being older, the old man correctly, addressed the chief first.
“I have been stolen from by this man, my neighbour and your wise help I have come to pursue.”
Being a wise man, the chief nodded his approval for being recognised as wise.
“I will need to know more about the problem you are facing?” asked the chief, directing his question to the old man.
“My neighbour knows I am a poor man and yet still, he has stolen the few goats I had for milk for my food,” came the old man’s plea.
“Is this old man telling the truth about you?” The chief, directing his question to the old man’s neighbour.
“No! He is making it all up. I don’t need his goats, I have many goats of my own,” grumbled the neighbour.
The chief had a long think about this problem and did not want the wrong man to be punished. In his thinking, he decided the one who was innocent would know the answer to the riddle he was about to pose.
“I need the answer to a riddle I have set for you both. The one who comes to me with the right reply first will receive all the goats. Regarding the riddle; I want to know the fastest thing in the world and why you think so.”
Completely dumbfounded, the two men left the chief’s council, neither one looking happy at such a difficult riddle.
As it often is with old people, they have large families. After pondering this strange question for a long time without a resolution, the old man decided to tell the riddle to a daughter, with whom he had never won an argument. This daughter, was in fact very beautiful, known in their district as a wise woman and her name was Ziah. Ziah quickly told her father the answer to the riddle. Armed with this knowledge the old man went boldly to the chief’s council, first thing the next day.
“Old man, can it be that you have the answer to my riddle already?” The chief exclaimed, looking earnestly at the old man.
“O wise Chief, I hope I have not come to disturb you without good reason?” replied the old man wisely.
“Well then, how is your answer to the fastest thing in the world?”
“Time is the fastest thing in the world. And the reasons, as you asked for are: The years go by so quickly we can’t even remember all that we have done in them. Time also goes too fast to finish the things we like to do. The speed of time cannot be measured for its mysteries. ” Was the humble old man’s response.
Without a doubt, this solution came from a very wise person, well versed in the ancient texts. Therefore the chief suspected it was not the old man who came up with the answer. The chief himself, doubting he could have given a better reply to the riddle.
“Who did you consult, for so wise a resolve?” was the chiefs’ curious question.
“It was hard and I studied your riddle for a long time, before I worked out that time was definitely the answer.” Fear had struck the old man, fear for his daughter, getting into trouble for helping him.
“I will punish you, not the one who told you, if you do not tell me the truth.” Was the chief’s stern warning. The chief could see, the old man was protecting the one who gave him the riddles’ solution.
Once again, on hearing this, fear gripped the old man in another way this time. He would not only loose his goats, but get his whole family into trouble as well.
“I have a wise daughter whose name is Ziah and she gave me the explanation to the riddle you set for me.” Said the old man, relieved to get that off his shoulders.
“She is indeed a wise daughter and it would please me to meet her. The goats are yours to keep, thanks to your daughter. I will have your neighbour informed.” Instructed the chief…
The long-version book is being written and illustrated right now. Will be here soon on Wildmoz.