Do You Know the World, My Son?
Mohammedi Ahmadi Aadam
aged 48, farmer, father of six
A story inherited from his grandmother
Then, in the ancient past, there was an old man, and his only son. Now, he was asking him, this old man, he was asking his son, “Do you know the world? Where you are going, what you are doing on this earth, my son, do you understand it?” and the son replied, “No, I do not understand it very well”. The father said, “Well, fine, go off and you will know”.
And so he left, that young man, he left. Upon setting off, before he had gone very far, he met a lion. “Aaauuh! This is a lion! Now, me, as for living, I’m no longer a part of it!” You know how it is when a man meets a lion, the whole time, you, as a human being, you’ll be worried, saying, “Oh, I’m going to be eaten, just like that. It’s over for me”.
He began to retreat, that young man, he turned to run from that lion. Running from the lion, straight back on the path he had taken, he fell into a hole which had not been there previously. Now, stretching across this hole was a root, the root of a tree. It stretched from this side to the other; that is, this root formed a bridge, and the pit continued down beneath where the young man stood, upon this root.
As he fell into the hole he had caught hold of the root on which he was now standing, on which he was now stuck. He looked up, and saw the lion above him, looking down into the pit. The young man then cast his eyes downward. Underneath him, in the pit, was a huge boa constrictor, and that constrictor was staring up at him. As the constrictor saw it, God had given him sustenance for the day.
Up there, on the root, this guy, worry had filled him. Upward, he was not able to escape, and downward he could not go. Everywhere he looked lay danger. Looking to his left, he sees a rat, a white one, eating the root. He looks to the right, there is a black rat; he is eating at the root.
Now, over here is being eaten, and over there is being eaten. If he goes down into the pit, he fears he will be destroyed, and up above, if he climbs out, he will be destroyed. So, that root, it was eaten, and eaten, and eaten. Those rats are eating. They are eating. The root is being eaten. Until, finally, the result of it all, the root is finished. That guy, where must he go? Down! Down there, what will the constrictor do? It will get it’s sustenance from God Almighty, it will eat. This, my son, is the world.
My story, here, has not been long, but short, and if you have not understood it, let me make it clear for you: "The white rat is man’s days on earth, and the black rat is man’s nights. In the morning when the sun rises, and in the evening when it sets, you, your life, is going. The lion is man’s hardships, the root, the life we must all cling to, and the well, what we must all fall down when our time in God’s plan comes".