In a village far away, obscured and hidden, nestled amidst hillocks various and verdant, there once lived a small community of tribal. Survived by supplies the nearby jungles made available, the community moved from one point to another, although always venturing back to the village where they felt comforted the most, even when raids from rival tribes had become a commonplace occurrence of late.
The chief among them, now way past his prime, wanted to choose an heir to the throne from among his three, adult sons. So what happened, a challenge of sorts was thrown open, that whoever among them would dare an ascent the highest mountain peak and return with a gift that found favour in the eyes of the present chief the most, consequently would become the next. Suffice to say, the three agreed.
Hence began the hike early next morning, as had been their strategy.
Scaling his way past the steep slopes that could’ve caused one to come down tumbling, if not for being cautious, the eldest among them made his way up rather confidently. Midway through the expedition, he stumbled upon a kind of stone that was rare and seemed too precious to not be appropriated. ‘Father would be pleased seeing this,’ he said, grabbed the stone and prepared for an early descend.
The second son, who had continued on his mounting, had the misfortune of coming across a midsized cave lion, hell-bent on making the human his afternoon meal. But for his proficiency in close combat, he was able to, after much struggle, kill the beast with his spear and some boulders. Seeing that its flesh was thick and its meat fresh, he decided to take the dead beast home, to be offered as a gift of course.
Now, the youngest of them all, having endured the steep climbing, finally found himself atop the peak, though without anything to take back home. He stood there empty-handed for a while, basking in the warmth of the sun setting in the horizon far away, and descended shortly thereafter, lest the nightfall brought with it many inconveniences.
When he reached the village, seeing that he hadn’t brought home a thing, the whole community began to laugh, and so did his brothers, sensing that the competition now remained between the two.
‘Son, why haven’t you brought me a gift?’ the chief asked.
‘I couldn’t look for thing that was worthwhile once I saw what I did.’
‘What did you see?’
‘Standing at the peak, I saw a land not far away, a land which seemed fertile by all means, drained by a river coursing through it, sustaining a place where in the future our tribe could build homes and settle down. If our community must live, it should upon a land where our lives are safe and secured.’
The crowd fell silent.
Then, enfolding his youngest within his arms, the chief bequeathed upon him the throne.
Later that night at the chief’s house, his wife accosted him, demanding a sense behind his decision, saying that a lion’s meat was as much deserving of the prize, given that no one in the tribe had before singlehanded tamed such a beast.
‘You’re right,’ the chief said. ‘But while a meat would last us for two to three days, a vision for the future would last us for generation to come. Only someone who thinks for all, and not just an individual, can lead his people into eventual fruition.’
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