190. The Wise Man and the Foolish Man

Two men, one wise and one foolish, were traveling together.
When night came, they chose their sleeping places.
"I'll sleep up here on this tall rock," said the wise one.
"I'll sleep down here beside the road," said the foolish one.
The wise man smiled and thought to himself, "Good! If a lion comes, he will take my companion, not me."
In the night, a lion came, leaped onto the rock, killed the wise man, and ate him. The lion ignored the man beside the road.
So God protects the foolish.
The rock is still there; it is called "Resting-Place-of-Wise-and-Foolish."
[a Tigray story from northern Ethiopia]

Inspired by: "The Tale of the Pure-Hearted One and the One with the Black Soul" in Tales, Customs, Names, and Dirges of the Tigre Tribes by Enno Littmann, 1915.
Notes: You can read the original story online. The author notes: "the place is called: "the resting place of the wise and the stupid" (lābeb wa-gelūl), and the proverb: "God protects the stupid " ('egel lagelül räbbi'aqqebbo). The place is on the direct road from Gäläb to Asmara, between Comarāt and Qeruḥ, a large boulder of granite on the left of the road, as one travels southward."

No comments:

Post a Comment