Food for Thought

We have all read, understood and analyzed various aspects of life on this very blog. Be it the deplorable state of our education system, the need for revival of patriotism, the discussion on developing a personality trait or a skill; we have read it all here!

Recently, I came across a story that I could easily relate to. In fact, after reading it a couple of times, I arrived at a conclusion that not only I, but all Pakistanis can relate to it. This sheer thought instantly motivated the writer in me and here I am; all geared up to share the inspirational stuff with all of you.

Here, it goes. . .

Long ago, a man lived in the far countryside with his wife. He owned a farmyard with a chicken, a goat and a cow. Seeing the animals lived happily there, an old wounded mouse had made its way to the farmhouse, in search of a safe shelter. Without causing trouble to anyone, the mouse started living in his burrow.

One night, the mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a box. “What food might this box contain”, the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover that it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said: “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.” The mouse then turned to the goat and told him about the mousetrap. The goat sympathized, but said: “I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it. I will be thinking of you.” In a hope, the mouse turned to the cow, but the cow replied: “I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

So, the mouse returned to his burrow, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house — like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient – chicken. But his wife’s sickness continued; friends and neighbors came to visit her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the goat. The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. Many people came for her funeral and the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. He felt pity for the animals, but there was nothing he could do.

Although the story is based on a very old and simple plot of a farmer and his animals, it gives us a moral of helping others in times of need and distress – a trait that is on the verge of extinction in our society. Being Pakistanis, we share common problems like those of street crimes, target-killings, suicide bombing and harassment, unemployment and corruption, inflation and illiteracy. It is therefore important to remember that each one of us is a vital thread in another person’s tapestry; when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

By Anum Sultan

Posted in:

Leave a Reply