The blind man and the lame man
A short time after a great war that occurred a long time ago, there was an unprecedented scarcity of meat. The king of a certain town announced to all his subjects that he would richly reward any hunter who could bring him the head of wild animal. There were in that town two friends who were considered the worst victims of the war. One had lost his sight and the other his leg. But these two friends were also the most famous marksmen ever born in the town. Now, then the lame ma heard of the King’s announcement, he crawled to the blind man and together they planned a hunting strategy. The blind man provided the gun. He also carried the lame man to the hunting ground and continued to bear him on his back until he saw a game. After some time the cripple spotted a huge antelope and told his blind friend to halt and crouch. The blind man did as instructed. The cripple took aim and shot at the animal. The antelope was obviously hit but it continued to run. The cripple thought he saw it disappear into a vast distant bush.
The two friends momentarily despaired. But when the blind man said he would carry the cripple to the distant bush in pursuit of the game. “After all, we cannot toil all day for a lazy wanderer who might pass by and pick the animal,” he added.
The lame man got on his back again and they set out. It was almost night when they entered the bush. He directed his friend to it. The blind man picked up the antelope, placed it on his shoulder, and began to walk back to the town. At home they cut off the head of the animal and took it to the King. They had hoped they would be both be rewarded but the King said, “I ‘ll reward one person for one head of an animal. One of you must claim ownership of the head. His name will be entered in my register of Heroes.”
The two friends started to argue over which of them should claim ownership of the head. The other people of the town suggested that the one who did more to kill the game should be the hero. They both agreed and each was ready to prove that his own contribution was the greater.
The lame man spoke first, “ I invited my blind friend to join me in the hunt. I saw the animal and I shot it dead, and lastly, I found the dead body. Indeed I did everything that was required to kill the animal. Therefore, I believe, I should be the one to be rewarded.” The blind man who was more thoughtful of the two then spoke, “ I know my good friend, that you have your sight while I have lost mine. But no one has ever killed an animal by merely seeing it. Who provided the gun with which you shot the animal? Who conveyed you to the jungle? Who brought you and the animal home and who brought you and the head of the animal here for the King to see? Would the King have believed that you killed an animal if he did not see its head? My dear people, if seeing an animal means killing it, thinking that you are a King is being a King.”
The people of the town admired the eloquence of the blind man. But they were equally impressed by the arguments of his friend. None of them, not even the King or his counselors, could, on the bases of their arguments, choose the hero.
At last the King proclaimed his decision. The wise and humanitarian King richly rewarded both the lame man and the blind man and entered both their names in his Register of Heroes. The END