The story of an ancient traveller (my son wrote this story for his ELA creative writing assignment)
Many, many ages ago when all the continents were one, when the oceans were untameable and when man had just learned about fire, and how to use it to protect him. When large ferocious wild animals still roamed the land. The volcanoes still breathed fire and smoke, the sky was dark with thunder and the trees swarmed the planet, there was a man who wanted to be the most intelligent man in the world.
He was as tall as the trees, with black hair the colour of tar and he had a pointy nose. This man had the bluest eyes imaginable and no one knew his name, so we will call him Traveller because that was what he did all the years of his life. The traveller wanted to be intelligent so he was travelling across the continents, over mountains and through forests to find a man who was very wise, who people say was like an angel.
The traveller first travelled toward the rising sun he found only dry land. Next he followed the North Star and found only beautiful lights and wondrous animals. After that followed the rising moon where he found only emptiness, finally he set his footsteps toward the south. After many cycles of the moon, the traveller finally found the wise man of the south. The man asked him why he was here. The traveller told him, “I want to be the most intelligent man in the entire world.” The wise man said, “I will not tell you my name.”
The traveller asked, “Are you going to help me?” He said, “Alright, but on one condition, no matter what I do you will not ask any questions.” After the traveller swore that he will not question the wise man, and promised that if he broke the condition, the wise man would not tell him the secret of intelligence.
The wise man said, “We are going to travel across Pangaea.” The traveller and the wise man started on their long journey. After one cycle of the moon, they were passing through a village, there the wise man asked for food. The strange villagers refused to give them any. The traveller and the wise man were about to leave the village, when the wise man stopped and mended the security wall around the village. The traveller forgetting his promise and in shock said to the wise man, “Why did you mend the wall?” The wise man said, “No questions!”
As they left the village they came across a large river, to reach the city on the other bank they needed a boat. The wise man asked a poor boatman for his boat. He said, “I will take you across in my boat if you want, I will charge you no money as I see you are travellers tired and hungry.” When the traveller and the wise man reached the other side of the large river, the wise man carved a hole in the boat. The traveller once again forgetting his promise and in anger said, “Why did you destroy the man’s boat when he helped us?” The wise man said, “This is your last chance, if you ask me any more questions I will not travel with you or teach you.”
They continued on their journey following the sun every day; they passed through a village with wild trees surrounding it and the water in the river at the edge of the village was gleaming. The people of the village were rich and their houses were like large stick triangles wrapped with beautiful animal skins. They were very kind, and offered food from a large iron pot in the village centre. This is where everyone ate from. For the night the villagers gave us a warm place to rest our bones. Before the sun came up the next morning, the wise man went out of the tent. Everyone was still sound asleep. Suddenly, there was noise in the village centre, and we discovered that the large cooking pot with food for the next day was over turned. The traveller said to the wise man in a suspicious tone, “You did this, but why?” The wise man replied, “Here we part our ways, I said no questions.”
The traveller agreed but said, “First tell me why you did all those things?” The wise man said, “I mended the wall because there was treasure hidden underneath the wall and it belonged to a little child, if the wall collapsed the villagers would find the little boy’s treasure and take all of it and the boy would not get any of it. The reason why I carved the hole in the boat was, because the king of the city passed a law that would make him the owner of all the sturdy boats. The man who owned the boat can use it because the hole was not that big, the boat will still float, but the king will not take it. I overturned he pot because a snake slithered in and had poisoned the food.” The traveller asked the wise man, “How did you know all these things?” With a smile, the wise man replied, “Remember no more questions.”
The traveller did as he was told and started toward his home. He realized no one can be the most intelligent person because there is always something you can learn from someone, and you must always keep learning.
(Loosely adapted form a Quranic story about Prophet Moses (Surah Kahf 18: Verse 60-82)