Young Rajah and his Journey of Wisdom
Once upon a time, long ago in a far away kingdom, a very wise old Rajah lived in his palace with his family.
As the old Rajah knew his life in this time was drawing to a close.
He summoned his son who would become the next Rajah of the Kingdom.
When the son, the future Rajah was summoned, the young man knew it was time for his father to ensure safe passage and pass his kindness, compassion and understanding but most of all, his wisdom gained over many years, to his son, the future head of the Kingdom.
Young Rajah looked forward to gaining the deeper wisdom of age and sharing compassion.
Time passed and young Rajah had learned much from his father. The old man shared his life lessons and stated that in order to learn wisdom, it is of great benefit if it is experienced, it must be lived.
The old Rajah asserted that it was time for young Rajah to journey into the larger and wilder areas of his kingdom, from the coast to mountains all consisting of villages and forests populated with people, animals and nature. Young Rajah had to learn by listening, observing and to offer assistance to those in need. However, to ensure he heard the true and honest messages being offered, the young Rajah had to go in disguise as a poor man of little means.
Young Rajah journeyed north from the city, through villages, farms, lowlands, mountains, plains and jungle forests. It took him a very long time, months in fact and although he was learning how people live, their struggles, achievements, worries, fears and things that made them happy, Young Rajah felt he was missing something. He pondered to the extent that he was not only agitated by not knowing what was missing but he was worried that time was wasting as he felt in his bones that his father’s strength and health was fading.
Young Rajah did not want to go home until he had learnt the most important lesson but, what is it?
Early one evening in the forest as the sun was about to set, Young Rajah was settling down into his blanket for the night. His thoughts on the unknown lesson through each day and night, constantly plagued him. Certainly, he had learnt much from people from all walks of life in the Kingdom yet he still knew the most important lesson was missing. He still did not understand or even begin to understand what the lesson was, but he knew it was missing. He could not return home until he discovered and learnt the extremely important lesson.
As he rolled over to rest before he welcomed sleep he heard, and saw something move across leaf litter. Normally Young Rajah would remain very still and quiet waiting for the threat to pass but this time he was not fearful.
‘Are you a snake?’ he asked.
‘Yessss… I am,’ hissed the snake as it continued on towards Rajah.
‘Snake… what am I missing… what it is my father wants me to learn?’
‘I don’t know… why learn things anyways?’ the snake asked.
Rajah replied; ‘Because in learning things we can understand and improve our lives.’
The snake stopped moving, looked at Rajah and asked;
‘And if I know how I can improve my life, what good will it do me if I can’t change things?’
‘Well snake, how do you think your life can be improved?’
‘Legs would be good.’ Snake quickly and hiss-pissedly, crossly, replied.
Rajah was surprised, a snake wanting legs… this is a new one.
‘Yes, legs! Do you know how it feels to slide along on your belly all the time? Look at it from my lowly point of view. Us snakes spend all our time on our bellies, eating slow moving stuff on the ground, sneaking around for a feed, sometimes down holes in the ground. To see any distance we have to slowly slither up trees. The worse thing is that we look creepy. A lot of us are safe creatures yet, humans and other animals are terrified of us. We need legs. If we had legs we could walk and get places faster. Besides we could walk over the tops of rocks and twigs and things. I reckon it would be a vast improvement and make life much easier if us snakes had very long legs. Besides, it would make us look less sneaky’. Snake had obviously thought it through.
Both Young Rajah and Snake said nothing else as the snake slithered away.
‘This could be it,’ thought Young Rajah. ‘My lesson could be to learn the difficulties that animals and plants experience, and understand how I may help them.’
Dear reader, what is unknown to others, is that both the old and Young Rajah have supernatural powers. Before Young Rajah went to sleep that night, he performed his magical powerful deed and gave the snake long legs.
In the morning, Young Rajah packed up his meagre belongings and continued his journey through the jungle and up into the mountains far beyond the tree line until the only thing that was present was snow, rock and moss.
Young Rajah spent much time in the mountains sitting in the open at the top, the pinnacle, enjoying the solitude and contemplation.
The seasons changed from winter to spring and Young Rajah knew that with the passing of seasons our lives shorten and some lives pass. He knew the time for the passing of his father was closer and it was imperative he return to the palace as quickly as possible.
Young Rajah moved very quickly on the most direct southerly route and did not waste any time. It was only a matter of days when he reached the place where he met the snake that wanted long legs.
On the way back, Rajah placed his pack at the base of a rock and sat down. ‘Snake, snake… you here? Hey snake… are you here?’
The response came very quickly with anger.
‘Yes.. I’m bloody here… did you do this to me?’ Snake was continually pissedly, hissedly and sissedly as he revealed himself from behind a tree.
Rajah laughed and laughed and laughed so hard he fell off the rock.
‘Well… did you do this to me?’ as Snake angrily hissed asking in a very threatening manner.
‘Look at these… things…’ He hissed and sissed with disgust indicating his legs as he struggled and kept falling off and over logs and rocks.
Young Rajah was trying to be serious. It was difficult because snake had four of the longest legs he had ever seen on a forest creature. Hilarious, a snake four feet long had six feet long articulated legs. No wonder he was angry!
Snake tried to calm himself down and explained the situation to Young Rajah.
‘I don’t know who you are but I reckon you are the one who gave me legs!’ Snake began.
‘I know I said having legs would help us snakes but you have no idea of the difficulty! No longer can I slither up trees, go down animal holes, slide through logs or even sneak up on prey. I can no longer slither!’
‘To make matters worse, as people see me they attack me with sticks because I can’t slide or run away… because legs are impossible to use!
I have no shoulders or hips and no muscles to support them.
All I seem to do is wobble around and fall over all the time!
I thought having legs would be good, but I can’t hunt and have been starving all winter!
Do you have any idea how hard it is to back out of a rabbit hole with these darned long things?’ He said indicating the long skinny ungainly legs.
‘Can you please return me to how I was, long and skinny… with NO legs please.’
It was at that moment that young Rajah realised he was on the path of his father’s wisdom.
It was only a matter of days when young Rajah returned to the palace and was holding his frail father’s hand at his bedside.
‘So my son, before I go, what wisdom have you learnt about people, nature and the kingdom?’ Old Rajah asked.
Young Rajah shared his experiences with the wise old Rajah.
‘Father, thank you for encouraging me to tour our kingdom and learn. I journeyed much, saw many people and experienced many things.
To answer your question, there is much to wisdom; the first is there is never a limit to becoming wise, it takes many lifetimes and experiences.
The second is that regardless of who people are or their status they all have opinions on what would improve things, but improvements need to be tested.
The third is that it is folly to improve on nature, snakes are happier and exist better without legs.’
The old Rajah’s laughing eyes lit up.
Young Rajah continued;
‘The fourth is to recognise that just because we have power it can be used unwisely with poor results.
The sixth and biggest lesson of all father, is to accept yourself as the being you are… oh… and be careful what you wish for.’
The old Rajah smiled, chuckled and kissed his son’s hand.
V L. Verdeaux
© V L. Verdeaux (2018)