Story Corner : The Man and the Serpent

Years ago, there was a small village by a beautiful river. The people who lived in this village were mostly poor and farmed in others’ land because they had a few chunks of land. Among them was a man who was richer than the others. He had more land, ten cows, twelve sheep and a little rabbit. He also had a loving wife and three sons to look after him.

Years ago, there was a small village by a beautiful river. The people who lived in this village were mostly poor and farmed in others’ land because they had a few chunks of land.

Among them was a man who was richer than the others. He had more land, ten cows, twelve sheep and a little rabbit. He also had a loving wife and three sons to look after him.

However, he was always worried about his youngest son, who happened to be naughtier than his siblings, and was always full of mischief. This boy seemed to be full of an inexhaustible supply of energy and was always out of the house, roaming in the fields, jumping into ponds and climbing hills and mountains, whatever the time was.

Misfortune struck one day, when the boy mistakenly trod upon a serpent’s tail during one of his adventures. The furious snake hissed and his foot was bitten. The boy limped back to his parents, crying out of pain, but his helpless family members could do nothing to save the poor boy, for the lethal venom killed him within minutes.

However, the boy informed his father about the whereabouts of the snake and how he had been bitten before he took his last breath.

The incensed father took out his axe and hunted down the serpent, which happened to reside in a small hole beside one big tree. He found the serpent and with one powerful blow cut off part of its tail. Bleeding and crying out of pain, the snake carried its body with great difficulty and slithered into one of the holes between the roots of the huge tree.

«First they trampled my tail. Then they dared to cut it off?» muttered the creature painfully. It vowed revenge against the man.

Thereafter, the snake began to harm the farmer’s cattle—they were stung there were great losses at the farm.

«I had already lost my son, now I have to watch my cattle die. It is best to reconcile with the serpent before it does any more harm to me or any of my family members,» the man thought.

With this purpose, the farmer went to the serpent’s lair with food and honey and offered him the treats.
«You know, we should let bygones be bygones. There was no enmity between us as such. So why don’t we forget and forgive each other and be friends?» he said.

«It can’t be!» replied the snake, «take your gifts away. Neither can you forgive me for the death of your son, nor can I forget the loss of my tail.»

The lesson

Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten BUT forgiveness is the key to healing. Let’s learn to forgive from the heart however hard it is.

Ends

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