Tuesday, 6 July 2010

We don't know how this happened

One summer morning, Krishna was meditating under a banyan tree near the river when he heard steps behind his back and the voice of Nadu interrupted his thoughts. "Long live the wise, Krishna," saluted Nadu.

Krishna opened his eyes and saw that Nadu was carrying a heavy black sheep in his arms. When Nadu set the sheep on the ground, the animal stared briefly at Krishna, found him uninteresting, turned around, and began to drink water from the river.

"My father is worried and has sent me to ask you for advice," explained Nadu, pointing at the black sheep. "We don't know how this has happened and we fear for the other sheep." Krishna looked at the animal, which had just started to taste the grass and looked perfectly healthy.

"One week ago, we walked out of the house in the morning and the black sheep was standing in the middle of our herd." Nadu shook his head, puzzled. "Of course, we had heard stories about black sheep, but we thought that they didn't exist."

Krishna stood up, walked up to the animal, and caressed its head. "At the beginning, we didn't give it much importance," Nadu went on, "but soon, strange things began to happen, like in the stories that we had heard."

The animal lifted its head and began to ruminate contentedly the grass that it had just eaten. "Does it bellow at dawn, while other sheep are asleep?" inquired Krishna. "Does it refuse to return home in the evening? Does it run away at the least opportunity and encourage others to join it?"

Surprised, Nadu confirmed all of Krishna's points. That was something unexpected. How come that Krishna knew so much about black sheep? "Will other sheep in our herd become black as well?" asked Nadu terrified.

"Tell me, Nadu," retorted Krishna, "is it not true that all sheep spend their lives in slumber? Is it not a fact that sheep never try to escape? That they always follow the herd without delay?" Nadu nodded, wondering where Krishna was headed with his questions.

At that moment, the black sheep turned to Nadu and stared at him impatiently. Why was it taking so long for Nadu to draw the obvious conclusion? A long silence ensued before Krishna spoke again. "The truth is, Nadu, that this animal is not a sheep," announced Krishna.

Nadu, instead of being shocked by the news, took the whole thing rather philosophically. He immediately accepted Krishna's offer to relieve him of the animal, ran back to his farmhouse, and informed his father that the problem was solved once and for all.

During the next hours, Krishna traversed the forest, followed closely by the animal. In the afternoon, they climbed a mountain and reached a green valley, where hundreds, if not thousands, of similar black creatures were placidly eating grass and having a great time.

When the newcomer joined the others, it was warmly welcomed. While the sun went down, Krishna observed the animals play. He didn't understand them and he didn't know where they came from, but of one thing he was sure. Those were not sheep.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by kiwinz under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]

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