Seven Wise Men
Once upon a time, in the rugged hills of Buneyr, there lived seven adventurous men, each with dreams of seeking their fortunes beyond the horizon. One fine day, as the sun began its descent, they decided to take a break under the shade of a great tree.
Sitting together, one of the men had a peculiar thought. He proposed, "Let's make sure we're all here." So, he started counting, "One, two, three, four, five, six," but in an odd twist, he somehow forgot to count himself. "There's one of us missing! We're only six!" he exclaimed.
The others laughed heartily, thinking it was a jest. In response, they all started counting with raised forefingers, but, much like their friend, they too forgot to include themselves in the count. It was a comical scene, with each one counting and missing the mark.
Growing concerned about their missing companion, they decided to take action. The seven friends set out on a quest to find the one who seemed to have disappeared into thin air. Their journey led them to a friendly shepherd who warmly greeted them, curious about their troubled expressions.
"Why are you all so downcast?" he inquired.
"We started as seven this morning, but now we're only six," they replied. "Have you seen anyone who might be our missing friend?"
The shepherd chuckled and said, "But you are seven. Look closely: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven!"
The wise men of Buneyr realized their error and felt a mixture of embarrassment and gratitude. They insisted on repaying the shepherd for his help by offering to work for him for a whole month. Overjoyed, the shepherd welcomed them into his home.
The shepherd's family consisted of his frail, elderly mother and a herd of goats. He assigned each of his newfound helpers a task. One was asked to care for his aged mother, while another was tasked with tending to the grazing goats. As for the remaining five, they were told that their duties would begin the next day.
The man responsible for looking after the elderly mother soon discovered that his most pressing challenge was the relentless swarm of flies that plagued her. He spent his days futilely shooing away the bothersome insects, but despite his best efforts, they persisted in tormenting the frail woman. Frustrated beyond measure, he decided to take drastic action and threw a large stone at a particularly bothersome fly. Regrettably, he missed the fly but struck the old woman instead, knocking her onto her back. The shepherd, upon seeing this tragic accident, despaired, for the poor old lady had lost her life.
The second helper's task was to watch over the goats grazing on the hills. During his midday rest, he noticed something peculiar. The goats, while chewing their cud, would occasionally gaze at him. The man, misconstruing their actions, grew agitated. "Why are you mocking me while I eat?" he angrily exclaimed. Without thinking, he grabbed his hatchet and charged at the goats, striking down several. The shepherd, distraught by the scene, rushed to intervene.
That night, the shepherd's heart was heavy with sorrow. He deeply regretted asking for help from the men of Buneyr. The following morning, the five remaining wise men came to him and offered their assistance, saying, "Now it's our turn. Give us some work to do!"
The shepherd, who had already endured much calamity, responded, "Dear friends, you have more than repaid the small favor of finding your lost companion. Please, go on your way, and may we never cross paths again."
And so, the wise men of Buneyr departed, leaving the shepherd to reflect on the consequences of their actions. The lesson learned was that sometimes the help we seek may not always lead to the outcomes we expect.