It is not just Johnnies-come-lately who rush to all and sundry to gush about the minutest of their accomplishments. Even the most seasoned of us cannot keep our gob shut in moments of elation. Or despair, but that I have already dealt with earlier in “Make an ass of yourself, but don’t let the world know about it”.
We undermine the perils of parting with information; and sacrifice the benefits accrued at the altar of sharing! Don’t. I beg of you, as a well wisher. Falling on deaf ears, do I see? At least desist from turning a blind eye to this short and sweet story.
Once upon a time, there lived an honest and diligent woodcutter (WC) in a god-forsaken village. You know the kind. One who sharpens his axe for 8 hours, if he had 10 to fell a tree. Sustenance chopper, who stays forever poor, struggling to make ends meet. One day, he was doing his bit to bring down a mighty mahogany when his hands slipped and the axe fell into an abandoned well nearby. Having lost his means to earn his livelihood and no capital to procure a new one, he sat there on the edge of the well ruing his fate, after taking a good look into it and determining that there is no way he can get out of it alive.
His wailings reached the ears of a lesser god (LG), dweller of the well and a benevolent soul when he is in a good mood. And that day was one of those do-good days in his diary. Out he came, enquired the matter with a stunned and still sobbing wood-cutter, and dived right back in only to come up with a brand-new copper axe.
LG: “Take it”
WC (wiping his eyes, still in daze): “Not mine”
Dive 2. Silver axe
WC (shaking his head): “Nah”
Dive 3. Gold axe
WC (gaining composure and losing mind): “Wow. No again. How can I cut wood with this? Mine is of iron”
Dive 4. Puffing and panting.
LG: “Take it. And take the other three too. Consider this once in a lifetime hike, out of turn, for honesty. Run”
Pleased with his good deed for the day, the god dived right back in a 5th time for a well earned repose. Even gods are human sometimes.
The WC headed home, happy and whistling at the good fortune that struck him. Honesty pays. Goodness prevails. Such were the thoughts on his mind, when he met with his scheming neighbor, a blacksmith.
BS (eye raised and conscience troubled): “What’s up? Never seen you this way before”
WC (gaining composure and losing mind): “Brother, from today all my problems are solved” Blah blah..axe..slip..fell..well..god..1,2,3..Run
To make a dash into his hut and bring the heaviest axe out (rusting with no takers) was the work of a second for the BS. Off he zipped into the forest and reached the wealth bestowing well. Aiming well he dropped the purported seed of his future fortune into it and waited.
LG zapped out of his nap like a mad cap. Ayyieee..
Running his hand on the part of the head where the ruddy thing delivered a deadly blow, he floated up menacingly. Cursing and cussing he looked in the direction of BS and was about to direct a volley of vitriolic verbiage guaranteed to wreck havoc.
BS was nothing if he wasn’t a cunning sycophant. Prostration followed by paeans punctured with apologies in between flowed effortless from him. Slowly LG’s temper came down to manageable levels. He realized that this poor soul was only driven by greed and a desire to make a quick fortune, which is but natural in the earthly beings. And it wasn’t his fault altogether. If only that honest motor-mouth had refrained from uttering a syllable about the benevolent heart that LG was.
Zip. The Copper, Silver, Gold axes vanished from WC’s hut and materialized in LG’s hand.
Zap. They found their way into the stretched and grasping hands of BS.
Zoom. Into the cozy interiors went the LG, once again to catch a much needed snooze. Happy in the knowledge that the fortunes are safely in the hands of a selfish soul who wouldn’t squeal.
So you see folks? If ever you get a pay hike that defies gravity or the laid out norms; if you are sent on an offsite before you have the tickets safely in hand; when you are invited by the boss outside of office hours; or to his home; when you got a congratulatory email or you are privy to the impending pink slip to the dweller in next cubicle.. SHUT THE AHEM UP!
Because there are enough and more fast thinking, flash Gordons around than the number of disease carrying germs on your keypad. They will beat you to it (whatever it is), before it is signed and sealed and declared off-bound to others.
I know it is easy to get carried away. But these rewards are easier to get carried away by scheming and snooping peer-a-sites.
SO SHUT UP. And Savor in Silence.