Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Turtle's Request

Once upon a time, a turtle walking along a path was stopped by a leopard that jumped in front of him. The turtle, realizing his doom, said, “Sir Leopard, would you allow me a moment to prepare myself before you kill and eat me?” The leopard thought this an odd request, but saw no reason not to agree for, he thought, he was hardly in danger of losing his meal. “Prepare yourself,” said the leopard. The turtle scurried back and forth across the path, scuffing the dirt, raising the dust, and making a mess of the path. After doing this for a few minutes he stopped, caught his breath, and looked at the leopard and said, “I am ready.” The leopard looked at the turtle and asked “Why did you do this?” The turtle answered, “So that when others come by and see what is left of my body, they will say, ‘a great battle happened here.'”

I first learned this story from Dan Yashinsky who learned it from Chinua Achebe's Anthills of the Savannah which i have since read twice. While i hope that this isn't the eventual story of my life and though it is the story of many a life, it certainly feels often that this is the story i am living.


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