04 September, 2009
The young warrior had dreamt of fire. He knew it to be a bad omen. So he went to the old wise man for advice.
The old wise man listened to the young warrior describing his dream, then presented him with leather armor to protect him from the fire. The young warrior thanked the old man and went on his way.
Just as in his dream, the warrior met a great deal of fire that day, but with his armor, he easily survived it all, slew the beast and returned to the village with a feast.
That winter, the warrior forgot to take off his armor (it was warm with it on, after all) and while his wife found the armor to distance them, she said nothing because the armor had allowed her husband to survive fire.
The next spring, as the young warrior set off on his travels, he met the old wise man again. The old man insisted on helping the warrior, telling him he could improve the armor. The young warrior said the armor he had was fine, but as the old man insisted, the warrior took the new armor, which was supposedly better in every way.
The warrior easily slew the beast that year and brought it home.
His wife, aghast at the new armor, which was colder and uglier than the old armor insisted he take it off, proclaiming she could not bear another year living with it. But the warrior could not take it off. He tried and tried, but found the armor had become stuck to him. So it had to stay on.
The years passed and the young warrior and his wife became old, with young warrior children of their own.
And these young warriors, having been sold on armor at a very young age had never fought without it, had never known life without it, and so did not find it cold or strange, they simply accepted that this was the way things were.
This warrior tribe became weak.
And one year, hearing stories of brave warriors who once fought the elements bare naked, a young warrior decided to strip off his armor and face the world.
He went into the cave, and the cold and damp air made him shake. He crept up to the monster and it heard him, turned and scratched him. He ran and managed to get away, but his entire backside had been burnt by the creatures flames.
He returned to the village with some scrawny fish, while his brothers returned with another feast. Yet despite not being successful, the naked warrior insisted he live without armor.
So year after year he tried, he fought and he learned the old ways of hunting, tracking and creeping that had been forgotten.
He had to wonder, why didn't the old wise man teach us this, instead giving us simple solutions. So the naked warrior went to visit the old wise man (who by now was very old indeed)
And the naked warrior realized, upon meeting the old man that he was not wise, but merely clever, and a good salesman.
The naked warrior went back to his village, taught his family and neighbors the secrets of hunting and told them if anyone ever came to them with an easy solution, a promise too great to be believed, to remind themselves that they were already happy.
And that they need nothing more.