Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Suspect

Once there was a king who had a beautiful cowtail switch.  It was created by a master artist, and was the envy of many kings and nobles.  The king holds a celebration that draws people from several neighboring villages. For three days there was dancing, and singing, and drumming, and kora playing and feasting.  At the end of the festival everyone was gone, but so was the cowtail switch.  A reward was offered for the return of the beautiful switch.  In a nearby village a traveling jali who attended the festival was visiting, and people in the village began to question him. The jali answered their questions by quoting proverbs and riddles.  The people said he must have done it. "If he was innocent we would have just said so".  Days and nights passed, the people people watched with growing suspicion. They looked at him as he played his kora, and told his stories, certain he was the thief.  One day a messenger came from the king's village. Turned out the king hid the switch and forgot where he hid it.  Everyone was relieved that the king;s cowtail switch was  found.  Now they looked at the jali with new eyes, "Anyone who looks at him can see he is an honest man.  You can hear it in his music, proverbs and riddles."  Moral:  The truth will always prevail.

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