*ADVENTURES OF GOODBOY*
“Here is the challenge for the day,” proclaimed King Bediako as soon as the court had assembled one day,
“We want to know who among you can deduce most from sheer observation. In the center of the court you can see that two identical earthen pots are hung. One of them has gold coins and the other is empty. If you accept the challenge and identify the pot with gold, it is yours to keep. If you pick the wrong one, you will be banished from the court for two months and will pay a fine in gold coins. Let us see who is the cleverest among you.”
The courtiers were used to such weekly challenges from the King. Initially, all of them used to take the risk and take part. But within a few weeks, they figured that it was going to do them only harm. The King’s challenges were difficult. After burning their fingers a few times, majority of the courtiers quit participating and became spectators of such events. Only Goodboy, the brilliant minister, continued to take part and win. Of course, this made him the focus of jealousy and hatred from the other courtiers. Osei Wusu was chief amongst these jealous souls.
For this challenge also, Goodboy alone came forward. He spent five minutes circling under the hung pots closely examining them. The pots were absolutely identical in shape, size and artistic design. It seemed impossible to guess what is inside them just by how they looked. Then suddenly, Goodboy walked to a nearby guard, borrowed his spear, came over and broke one of the pots confidently.
Gold coins showered on him. The King was impressed not only with Goodboy’s intelligence but also the confident gesture of breaking the pot. Being confident in one’s abilities is just as important as having abilities.
“Well done, Goodboy”, said a beaming Bediako, “now tell us how you did it?”
“Beloved King, please forgive me for saying that this was the easiest of all the challenges. That is why I was able to confidently break the correct pot. The trick was not to look at the pots themselves but the ropes on which they were suspended. The tension in the taut ropes of the heavier pot was obvious. Sometimes we need to focus our attention not on the problem but around it to discover the solution”
The King and courtiers applauded Goodboy. Just then, a messenger enters the court and whispered something to the general of the army.
The general ecstatically stood up and announced, “Your Highness, Please grant me leave at once. I have just received news that my wife has delivered a baby son. I must rush home on this happy occasion.”
“That is wonderful news.”, said the King, “As the proceedings of the court are drawing to a close, we would also like to visit your home, see the baby and take part in your happiness. Please expect a visit from us later this evening. Goodboy and Osei Wusu, wouldn’t you also like to visit the baby?”
“Most definitely, Dear King”, said Osei Wusu and Goodboy in unison.
Osei Wusu was happy to be invited to the general’s house that evening. He had a side business of making predictions about people’s lives. Actually there was no basis to anything he said. He would either tell people what they wanted to hear and be rewarded or he would scare people about impending bad events and take money from them to conduct remedial sacrifices. Either way, it was a fantastic business for him. He knew that the general would be interested in hearing him paint a rosy picture about the baby’s future. His palms were itching to collect the money for such fake predictions.
TO BE CONTINUED…
*ADVENTURES OF GOODBOY*