Sunday, May 20, 2007

Two Goats

A very very narrow bridge was improvised connecting two high mountain tops. The bridge was like a narrow wooden plank slung across the two mountain tops and had neither railings nor even ropes for protection. From the bridge, looking below, long way down, ran the treacherous rapids of a mighty river meandering through giant boulders.

One day, a mountain goat came along and wanted to go across the bridge to the other side of the mountain. The goat started walking over the narrow bridge. Mountain goats are sure-footed animals and are fearless mountain climbers.

At about the same time, another goat started crossing the bridge from the other end. The two goats came face to face in the middle of the bridge. The bridge being very narrow, the two goats could not go past one another. And there was no way the goats could make about turns. There was absolutely no possibility that the goats could turn back.

The second goat spoke arrogantly to the first goat: "You are obstructing my path. Get out of my way, you silly goat! I am in a hurry to go to the other side."

The first goat replied: "I was first to step on to the bridge and therefore I have the right to cross the bridge first."

The second goat retorted angrily: "I am the strongest goat around. I have never lost a fight with other goats. Look at my great big horns and think again. Either you quickly get out of my way or else…!"

The two goats started fighting. Their horns locked and it was indeed, a strange sight to behold. High up above on a narrow bridge two goats could not come to terms with each other. They threw caution overboard and as a result there ensued a battle between two fools. Both goats lost their balance and fell to their certain deaths.

After one week, by a strange co-incidence, two other goats started crossing the bridge from the opposite ends. One goat from this end of the bridge and the other goat from the other end. And the two goats met in the middle of the bridge.

The first goat spoke most politely: "I beg your pardon sir! It was too late when I realised that you were also crossing the bridge from the other end. Anyway, I am much younger than you are. I have been taught by my parents and by my teachers that I must respect my elders and that we should be gentle and kind to all creatures.Furthermore, I remember the advice that when confronted with any problem, first offer a prayer to the Lord and seek His guidance. Problems and solutions always go together.

Think of a bath-towel. If one end of the towel is where problems like to reside then the other end of the towel is where solutions reside. Both ends go together wherever the towel goes. Problems and solutions are inseparable. One has to merely search for the solution. I must first think about a clever solution."

The second goat said: "And what might that (solution) be?"

The first goat said: "Let me sit on this bridge with my head turned to one side so that you can slowly and carefully step over my back and cross over. I will then get up and be on my way."
Thus the two goats crossed the bridge safely.

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