As I sit down with my freshly brewed pot of tea, yummy ‘Bright Night’, there is a story that I wish to tell that has had a lot of meaning in my life recently. Whether or not you have heard it there is always someone who might need the sentiment. This is the version that I was told, so here we go…
There once was a king who was touring his kingdom. The king and his men travelled through large plains and through lush mountains until he came to a little town in the valley. As they explored the town they came upon a small run down tavern who were willing to take them in for the night. The family in the tavern were very poor, they were starving and didn’t own any material possessions other than the family cow that they used to sustain them. However they managed to put on a feast far beyond their means for the king and his men.
The family were extremely generous particularly because they were extremely poor. Their hospitality was much appreciated by their king. So as the king was leaving the town to continue on the tour of the kingdom he said to his first in charge “I want you to double back tonight, back to that tavern that hosted us, and I want you to kill their cow”.
The man looked up at his king, horror stricken, he had never once questioned his kings requests before. Yet, he relented and did as his king asked.
In the many years following, the first in charge, the man who had killed the cow, felt hopelessly guilty about what he had done. The family after all were so kind to them, spending their years savings to feed them a generous meal, and he killed their only food source.
As the king grew older he decided he wanted to do a final tour of his kingdom before he became too frail. He travelled through wide plains and through lush mountains until he came to the little town in the valley with the tavern that hosted them so generously previously. However as the king and his first in charge mounted the final crest they witnessed a booming town, with a tavern that was no longer dilapidated but renovated and flourishing. They came up to the tavern and was greeted by the young boy of the family who hosted them many years ago. He recognised them and showed them to their best lodging.
The man served them a hearty dinner and while dining the first in charge turned to the man and said “I have to get something off my chest, many years ago when we first met you my king requested that I kill your cow. Since then I have had trouble sleeping due to the guilt I felt. What happened to your family?”
The man smiled and explained that when they discovered their beloved cow dead they were distraught. But they had to do something to survive and so they took out a loan and started serving meals and renting out rooms at the tavern. From there the tavern flourished until the point it was at today.
He thanked the king and his first in charge immensely for their actions because without them, the family would not have survived.
For me this is a fantastic story because it encourages me to step out of my comfort zone, take a leap of faith and make the best of every situation. This year I have killed many cows, including starting university, a new job, making new friends and growing as a person. This story has helped me through many situations where I felt a little lost and overwhelmed.
I hope that you can carry this story with you too as a reminder to challenge yourself and become a more vibrant and more awesome person.
xx That is all for now