The Three questions

24 05 2008

There once was a boy named Nikolai who sometimes felt uncertain about the right way to act. “I want to be a good person” he told his friends. “but I don´t always know the best way to do that”.

Nicolai´s friend understood and they wanted to help him. “if only i could find the answer to my three questions,”.. Nikolai continued, “then i would always know what to do.”

“when it the best time to do things?”… “who is the most important one?”… “What is the right thing to do?…”

Nicolai´s friends considered his first question. Then Sonya the heron, spoke. To know the best time to do things, one must plan in advance,” she said.

Gogol, the monkey, who had been roothing through some leaves to find something good to eat, said, “You will know when to do things if you watch and pay close attention”.

Then Pushkin, the dog, who has just dozing off, rolled over and said, “You can´t pay attention to everything yourself. You need a pack to keep watch and help you decide when to do things. For example, Gogol, a coconut is about to fall on your head!”

Nikolai thought for a moment. Then he asked his second question.“Who is the most important one?”

“Those who are closest to heaven,” said Sonya, circling up to the sky.
“Those who know thow to heal the sick” said Gogol, stroking his bruised noggin.
“Those who make the rules,” growled Pushkin.

Nikolai thought some more. Then he asked the third question. “What is the right thing to do?”
“Flying,” said Sonya.
“having fun all the time,” laughed Gogol.
“Fighting” barked Pushkin right away.

Then the boy thought for a long while. He loved his friends. He knew they were all trying their best to help him answered his questions. But their answers didnt seem quite right.
THen, and idea came to him.
I know! he thought “I will ask Leo, the turtle. He has lived a very long time. Surely he will know the answer I am looking for”.

When Nikolai arrived, he found Leo digging a garden. The turtle was old, and digging was hard for him.
“I have three questions and i came to ask your help,” Nikolai said. “When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?”
Leo listened carefully, but he only smiled. Then he went on with his digging. “You must be tired,” Nikolai said at last. “let me help you” The turtle gave him his shovel and thanked him.
And because it was easier for a young boy to dig than it was for an old turtle, Nilolai kept on digging until the rows were finished.

But just as he finished, the wind blew wildly and rain burst from darkened clouds. As they moved toward the cottage for shelter, Nikolai suddenly heard a cry for help.
Running down the path, he found a panda whose leg had been injured by a fallen tree.
Carefully, Nikolai carried her into Leo´s house and make a splint for leg with a stick of bamboo. Then storm raged on, banging at the doors and windows. The panda woke up.
“Where am I?” she said. “And where is my child?”

The boy ran out of the cottage and down the path. The roar of the storm was deafening. Pushing against the howling wind and drenching rain, he ran farther into the forest. There he found the panda´s child, cold and shivering on the ground.

The little panda was wet and scared, but alive. Nilolai carried her inside and make warm and dry. THen he laid her in her mother´s arms. Leo smiled when he saw what the boy had done.

The next morning the sun was warm, birds sang, and all was well with the world. The panda´s leg was healing nicely, and she thanked Nikolai for saving her and her baby from the storm.
At that moment, SOnya, Gogol, and Pushkin arrived to make sure everyone was all right.

Nikolai felt great peace within himself. He had wonderful friends. And he had saved the panda and her child. But he also felt disapponted. He still had not found the answers to his three questions. So he asked Leo one more time.

The old turtle looked at the boy. “But your questions have been answered!” he said. “they have?” asked the boy.

“Yesterday, if you had not stayed to help me dig my garden you wouldnt have heard the panda´s cries for help in the storm. Therefore, the most important time was the time you spent digging my garden. THe most important one at that moment was me, and the most important thing to do was to help me with my garden.
Later, when you found the inujured panda, the most important time was the time you spent mending her leg and saving her baby. And the most important thing to do was to take care of them and make them safe.

Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. the most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. For these, my dear boy, are the answers to what is most important in this world.

This is why we are here.

cometa


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