I know better

By Kaimlet on 31-07-2017

Many years ago, native Indian youths would go away in solitude on what is called a vision quest to prepare for manhood. One such youth hiked into a beautiful valley, green with trees and bright with flowers. There he fasted and prayed. But on the third day, as he looked up at the mountains, he noticed one tall rugged peak, capped with dazzling snow.

“I will test myself against that mountain,” he said to himself. He put on his buckskin shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders and set off to climb the peak. When he reached the top, he gazed out from the rim of the world. He could see forever and his heart swelled with pride. Then he heard a rustle of leaves at his feet, and looking down, he saw a slithering snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke.

“I am about to die,” whispered the snake. “It is too cold for me up here; I’m freezing. There is no food and I am starving. Put me under your shirt where I will be warm and take me down to the valley.”

“No way,” said the youth. “I’m forewarned. I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite, and your bite will kill me.”

“No, not so,” said the snake. “I will treat you differently. If you do this for me, you will be special to me, and I will not harm you.”

The youth resisted a while, but this was a very persuasive snake with beautiful diamond markings. At last the youth tucked the snake under his buckskin shirt and carried it down to the valley. There he placed it gently on the grass. Suddenly the snake coiled, rattled and struck, biting the youth on the leg.

“But you promised….” Cried the youth.

“You were forewarned, you said, and you knew what I was when you picked me up,” said the snake and slithered away.

Comment: Forewarned should be forearmed. But the youth eventually succumbed to the persuasion and the beauty of the snake. When he picked up the snake, he must have said to himself, “may be other snakes, but not this one. I should know better.” That is exactly what happens to us when we succumb too. “I know better.”

About The Author

Fr Jose Kaimlet

Fr Jose Kaimlet, is a catholic priest known all over the world mostly for his humanitarian service life and the big collection of thought provoking moral stories, ‘Tonic for the Spirit’. Kaimlet is a committed social worker, who has spent much of his time among the aged and the destitute far and wide. So far he has established many rehabilitation centres and old age homes. Since 2014, he is fully in Tanzania and now building a cancer hospital at Msolwa village in Ujamaa.