and Grey [A Wise Leader]
upon a time, there was a deer who was the leader of a herd of
a thousand. He had two sons. One was very slim and tall, with
bright alert eyes, and smooth reddish fur. He was called Beauty.
The other was Grey in color, also slim and tall, and was called
One day, after
they were fully grown, their father called Beauty and Grey to
him. He said, "I am now very old, so I cannot do all that
is necessary to look after this big herd of deer. I want you,
my two grown-up children, to be the leaders, while I retire from
looking after them all the time. We will divide the herd, and
each of you will lead 500 deer." So it was done.
when the harvest time comes, the deer are always in danger. The
rice is at its tallest, and the deer cannot help but go into the
paddies and eat it. To avoid the destruction of their crops, the
human beings dig pits, set sharp stakes in the ground, and build
stone traps all to capture and kill the deer.
was the season, the wise old deer called the two new leaders to
him. He advised them to take the herds up into the mountain forest,
far from the dangerous farm lands. This was how he had always
saved the deer from being wounded or killed. Then he would bring
them back to the low lands after the harvest was over.
Since he was
too old and weak for the trip, he would remain behind in hiding.
He warned them to be careful and have a safe journey. Beauty set
out with his herd for the mountain forest, and so did Grey with
all along the way knew that this was the time the deer moved from
the low lying farm lands to the high countryside. So they hid
along the way and killed the deer as they passed by.
not pay attention to his father's wise advice. Instead of being
careful and traveling safely, he was in a hurry to get to the
lush mountain forest. So he moved his herd constantly, during
the night, at dawn and dusk, and even in broad daylight. This
made it easy for the people to shoot the deer in Grey's herd with
bows and arrows. Many were killed, and many were wounded, only
to die in pain later on. Grey reached the forest with only a few
deer remaining alive.
The tall sleek
red-furred Beauty was wise enough to understand the danger to
his moving herd. So he was very careful. He knew it was safer
to stay away from the villages, and from all humans. He knew it
was not safe in the daytime, or even at dawn or dusk. So he led
his herd wide around the villages, and moved only in the middle
of the night. Beauty's herd arrived in the mountain forest safe
and sound, with no one killed or injured.
The two herds
found each other, and remained in the mountains until well after
the harvest season was over. Then they began the return to the
Grey had learned
nothing from the first trip. As it was getting cold in the mountains,
he was in a hurry to get to the warmer low lands. So he was just
as careless as before. Again the people hid along the way and
attacked and killed the deer. All Grey's herd were killed, later
to be eaten or sold by the villagers. Grey himself was the only
one who survived the journey.
his herd in the same careful way as before. He brought back all
500 deer, completely safe. While the deer were still in the distance,
the old chief said to his doe, "Look at the deer coming back
to us. Beauty has all his followers with him. Grey comes limping
back alone, without his whole herd of 500. Those who follow a
wise leader, with good qualities, will always be safe. Those who
follow a foolish leader, who is careless and thinks only of himself,
will fall into troubles and be destroyed."
time, the old deer died and was reborn as he deserved. Beauty
became chief of the herd and lived a long life, loved and admired
moral is: A wise leader puts the safety
of his followers first.