The Five Pets
There existed five pets in a town, each very unique and different. There was a fluffy white cat named Opal, who was owned by wealthy fashion model. There was a dog named Kaito, a brown collie owned by a farmer. There was a white rabbit named Ben, owned by a vet. There was a brown barn owl named Wizard, who was adopted by a librarian. There was even a turtle named Ton, owned by a shopkeeper. Each of these animals had an outstanding trait that they each thought very highly of. From time to time, their masters would bring them all together in one place to socialize. However, this would nearly always turn into a heated argument. One time, it reached a fever pitch.
Opal would tirelessly groom herself, shinning up her brilliant white coat and making fluff out even more. During this particular meeting of pets, she said, "While all of you are rumpled, dirty, and undignified; I am the very picture of beauty. The stars shine in the sky, yet my beauty outshines them all. The sunrise and sunset sends golden light across the land, yet my beauty outshines it all. Why, even marvelous gemstones cannot compare to my shinning fur and daintiness!"
Kaito growled in response, his fur and tail standing up straight, and reared up on his hind legs. He replied, "Look at my sleek body and runner's legs! You are dainty, but I am strong! That makes me better than you! Beauty is a waste of time and energy! I heard sheep and leap over fences with my strength. I once uprooted a mighty stump on my master's property! I dug a huge chasm around it with my bare paws! I took a rope in my bare teeth and used it to pull the tree trunk! That is something none of you weaklings could even boast of!"
Ben thumped a his right foot on the ground hard several times to command silence. "What is strength without speed?" he said, "Could you ever catch up to me, Kaito? No, you could not. You leap over fences? I leap yards in one bound. I clear mighty rivers in a single bound, while you splash down behind me, and the others are either too weak or 'too good' to do such a thing, or simply do not even posses the ability. Nothing escapes my lightning fast reflexes. I live at 5 times the speed of you feeble animals!"
Wizard sat perched in a tree listening to every word of the conversation with his eyes closed. He then gave a loud "Hoo-Hoot!", flapping his wings, creating a small breeze that blew through the fur of those below him. "I've been drinking in ever morpheme articulated by you inferior fauna," he said haughtily, "Seeing as you all posses insufficient cognitive facilities to comprehend me, I wonder why I even bother to express my inner thoughts in your presence. Can you calculate the time of day from the angle of the Sun? Can you determine the initial velocity and angle one must posses to successfully clear these 'mighty rivers' as you call them? Do you know what herbs one must eat to cleanse one self of ailments and afflictions? Do you know how to unlock the doors of the cages and undo the collars and leashes that your master use to immure you? No. Meanwhile, I know of philosophers, thinkers, and theologians. I can chart the stars and determine where they will be each night. I can forecast the weather by observing the clouds, the humidity, and the direction and strength of the wind. My knowledge is unlimited."
As the pets went back and forth with this banter, one did not take part in it, namely the Ton the turtle. He just sat there and looked back and forth between the arguing animals. Opal turned to Ton and said, "Well, the little slow poke is to afraid talk?"
Ton just pulled his head in.
"I give up! Nothing bothers him. Nothing at all!" Opal said, turning away in frustration.
Indeed, the turtle had a high level of tolerance, and did not rise to to the bait other put out. These arguments had been going on for a while, and Ton had never taken part of the senseless bickering.
After an hour of this, their owners came to pick up their pets and return home. After a rather restless night for all , except tolerant turtle who slept soundly, morning came once again. The pets had all decided to go out and enjoy the warm sunlight and fresh air.
Opal lay in her backyard, taking in the Sun, and once again grooming her luxurious fur. She was so busy, she did notice the coyote sneak through a hole in the fence. The coyote got close to the white cat and said, "My, you are beautiful! Your fur shines bright in the sun, and it really brings out your magnificent eyes. Those eyes are like gems. Every hair is in its proper place. Not a single tangle! You are the image of perfection. Perhaps you could get up and strike a pose for me?"
Opal was filled with satisfaction in knowing that someone else understood the truth, that her beauty was perfection. So, she got up and did as the coyote asked. With eyes closed, she stood with three of her paws firmly on the ground, and slightly lifted one of elegantly.
The coyote silently clamped his jaws around the cat's neck and ran off as fast as he could, silently laughing at how vain his supper was.
On the farm, Kaito kept watch over his master's flock of sheep. Suddenly, he spotted a wolf lurking near the fence. Kaito barked and thundered over to the hungry predator.
"Begone, scum!" Kaito shouted, "A worthless thief like you is no match for someone as strong as me! I am the strongest, most powerful animal that has ever lived!"
The wolf scoffed at this and said, "You? The strongest? You are mistaken! I am the strongest, for I once pulled down a mighty oak tree all by myself!"
Rather than call out the wolf on his obvious lie, Kaito barked pompously, "Anything you can do, I can do! I shall get a rope from my master's shed, and I will pull down a mighty oak tree!"
"Fine, but I will pick the tree," the wolf said.
Kaito agreed, retrieved the rope, and was led into the forest by the wolf. The wolf picked a tree that, unknown to Kaito, was rotted on one side. Kaito one end of the rope to the tree, and another end to his collar. With a mighty growl, Kaito began pulling with all his might, trying to overcome the challenge put forth to him. The old, decaying tree quickly succumbed to the sudden force being exerted upon its rotting flesh. Before Kaito knew what was happening, the tree broke at its base, and the heavy, un-rotted portion of the trunk landed right on top of the brown collie.
The wolf squashed his instinct to howl in victory, and quickly made his way to the now unguarded herd of sheep.
The white rabbit bounded around his backyard, when he came across a female hawk with a hurt wing. Ben chuckled and said, "If your wings were whole, you would most certainly attempt to make me your meal. However, with your flight taken away from you, your speed is gone. My speed and athleticism is still strong. So now, I taunt you!"
The wounded hawk nodded and said, "Yes indeed, but me being crippled doesn't change the fact that hawks are faster than rabbits. Also, they can travel high in the sky!"
Ben stood firm and replied, "That's merely because hawks are birds. Fro a bird, a hawk is a master of speed. But for small mammals, rabbits are masters of speed, and jumping! And I am the most talented when it comes to speed and height!"
The hawk narrowed her eyes, "Well then, show me. I have already seen your speed, now jump as high into the air as you can! Or do you know that there is no way anyone would be impressed with your inferior abilities."
Ben thumped his foot in fury, "Bird brain! I am superior in my abilities! Watch!"
The bunny took a running start towards the fence, jumped towards it, ricocheted off of it, and went soaring through the air. But as he was zooming high over the lawn, another hawk came out of hiding in the trees. He soared over to the bunny, and impaled him with his sharp talons. The male hawk flew over to the wounded female, happy that he could provide his mate with some food.
Wizard sat on a perch on the library's balcony. The owl opened his eyes to see a falcon winging towards him. Wizard opened his wings wide and screeched, "Begone, foul predator! Neither insults nor flattery shall deceive me, for my knowledge and wisdom is to great to fall to the likes of you, a simple minded animal who's only cognitive processes involve eating and sleeping. Begone, inferior, for a superior mind is I!"
The falcon perched on the railing. He nodded and said, "Indeed. A superior minded creature is superior to I. My flattery and insults would fall on death ears. You must certainly know of Esther 27:6- 'wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses,' and Judges 29:5- 'Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.'"
Rage overtook the owl and he screeched, "Fool! It is not Esther and Judges! Those verses are from the Book of Proverb. What an ignoramus you are!"
The falcon gained a surprised look, "Surely it is you who are mistaken?"
"I am never mistaken! I know all things in this world! I have committed all things of importance to memory! Especially the books of Scripture!"
The falcon hopped over to a table, on which lay a Bible. "Well then," the falcon said, "Why not prove it to me. Recite the three-score and six book of Scripture. I will check you. Do not look, or I will be forced to assume that you are cheating."
"Why would one need to cheat when one knows everything!" Wizard said, and he closed his eyes and turned his head the other way. By the time he got to "Judges," the sharp talons of the falcon were in his neck. The falcon then flew off, wondering what a pompous, arrogant windbag would taste like.
The turtle simply swan through his small pond, located in the backyard of his master's house. Unknown to them, was that there was an underwater tunnel in that pond, and out of that tunnel came an eel. Ton quickly swam out of the pond and onto a rock overlooking the pond. The eel stuck its head out and said, "You may be fast in the water, but you are far too slow on land. Come back in and prove you aren't entirely worthless."
Tan lowered his body onto the rock and quickly pulled his arms, legs, and head into his shell.
The eel cackled, "So, you are a coward! You don't want to face me, a worthy adversary. . .wait. . . I am far superior to you, so you are not worthy to face me! What a pathetic waste of life you are!"
The turtle did not move. He only stood on his rock, his head still inside his shell.
"I've seen many turtles," the eel said, "They fought bravely, with their hard shells bending my teeth, and how they butt into me with their fast underwater movements. You certainly are not one of them! A coward and a weakling you are! Are you content to just sit there and be a disgrace to your entire species?"
When Ton still didn't move, the eel hissed, "Fine. I see. You have an ability to tolerate the taunts of others. I admire that ability. Taunts cannot touch you! An intelligent turtle! A remarkable turtle! Surely that tolerance and patience can be use for something. . . special. . .hmm. . .aha! How about this. Let us see who can hold our breaths underwater the longest. Surely your patience and tolerance, which is high above mine, will allow you to beat me in this contest. So, come and partake in this game!"
As the eel spoke, his tail snaked beneath the water and across bottom of the pond. It wrapped around a stick and gripped it tightly, with the intention of using it to pin the turtle down underwater until his hour or so of air was depleted.
However, this plot was never realized, because instead of entering the water, Ton stuck his head out and said, "I do not need to boast of my skills through foolish contests, especially with one who could bring my end."
The eel hissed, seething with rage, and retreated back under the water's surface.
Out of all the pets, the turtle came out on top. For the moral of this tale was of pride in ones abilities and qualities. The pride that the cat, dog, rabbit, and owl became a weapon for their enemies to use against them. When their pride was fed, they let their guards down, and were played like a fiddle. When mud was slung at their pride, they rose up in anger and took the bait hanging in front of them. The turtle, however, allowed words to wash over him with no effects, and he did not allow selfish pride to take precedence in what he did. That is the lesson of this story.