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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

The Wise Ploughman's Lesson



Once upon a time, in a land ruled by a king named Asfalikhan, there lived a monarch who was plagued by fear. Asfalikhan's kingdom of Shughnan was a beautiful place, surrounded by lush landscapes and charming villages. But deep within, the king's heart harboured a relentless anxiety that threatened to consume him.


You see, Asfalikhan felt threatened by his neighbouring kingdom, Faizabad. His advisors, wise though they were, struggled to calm his fears. Each day, the weight of his worries grew heavier, and the once-mighty king seemed to wither.


One fateful day, a glimmer of hope appeared on the horizon. A messenger brought news of a wise old man named Dustak who resided in the village of Badjuv. Asfalikhan's heart leapt with newfound anticipation, and he instructed the messenger to ride with all haste to seek the advice of this renowned sage.


The road to Badjuv was rugged and challenging, but Asfalikhan urged the messenger not to waste a moment. He insisted on changing horses in each village along the way, a testament to his determination to reach Dustak as swiftly as possible.


The journey took the messenger through Porshinev, Yomj, Sokhcharv, and Pastbadjuv. It was a gruelling trek, marked by steep climbs and winding paths. But finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Badjuv came into view, perched high above the river.


As the messenger entered the village, he spotted three elderly men toiling in the fields, their ploughs cutting through the earth with rhythmic precision. Breathless and eager, he approached them and asked if they knew where he could find the wise old man called Dustak.


One of the three men paused in his work, a lump of earth in his hand, and gazed up at the messenger. "You have found Dustak," he declared with a gentle smile. "I am he."


The messenger wasted no time and hurriedly explained his mission, relaying Asfalikhan's desperate need for sage counsel.


Dustak, the humble ploughman, continued to crush the lump of earth in his hand as he spoke. "The king must be a fool," he remarked, his voice filled with profound simplicity. "He has never witnessed how his people live. I may be a poor man, unable to read or write, but I understand the essence of life. When I break this lump of earth and sow my seed, I know that in the autumn, I will have a harvest to feed my family. That, my friend, is the extent of my wisdom."


The messenger returned to Asfalikhan and shared Dustak's words of wisdom. Asfalikhan, once ensnared by fear, now saw the light. He understood that his people's prosperity and happiness lay in their ability to tend their fields in peace, free from the shackles of anxiety.


And so, guided by the sage advice of a simple ploughman, King Asfalikhan embarked on a new journey—one of understanding, trust, and unwavering commitment to his people's well-being.

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