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The Garden of Statues( by Pedro Pablo Sacristán )
- Goodness and initiative
The Garden of Statues
Moral of the story
|Someone who "harm's no one" is still very far from being good.||A garden a long time ago||Two young friends|
Long ago, there was a magical place that held some of the World's great wonders and treasures. It was not an obscure place, nor was it hidden, and anyone could try to enter and enjoy its delights. All you had to do was fulfill one requirement: be a good person. You didn't have to be heroic or extraordinary: just a good person.
One day, two young friends - Ali and Benaissa - went there to seek their fortune. Everyone who went there had to face their test alone, and Ali was the first to try his luck. He soon found himself in a beautiful garden. It was decorated with hundreds of statues that looked so real that you felt that at any moment they could start walking about. Or perhaps cry, because the expressions on their faces were rather sad and melancholic. But Ali refused to be distracted from his objective, and putting aside his desire to stay with the statues, he kept going until he arrived at the entrance to a large forest. The entrance was guarded by two grey stone statues which were very different from the others: one had an angry expression, and the other looked really joyful. Next to the entrance was an inscription: "Tell the statues about the goodness of your character."
So Ali got ready, cleared his throat and loudly said:
-"I'm Ali. A good person. I've never done anyone any harm, and no one has any complaint about me."
After a long silence, the statue with the joyful expression came to life, and stepping down from his pedestal, kindly said:
-"Excellent, your goodness is perfect for this place. As this place is full of statues like you. They too do no harm to anyone, and no one has any complaint about them!"
And in the same instant Ali felt his whole body become completely paralysed. He couldn't even move his eyes. But he could still see, hear and feel. Just enough to understand that he had become just one more statue to decorate the garden.
Soon after, it was Benaissa's turn to enjoy the wonders of the garden. But unlike his friend, the sight of those statues, and their sad, immobile eyes moved him so much that he approached each one and touched them, caressing their faces, secretly hoping that they were alive. As he touched them he felt the warmth of life, and could not get out of his mind the idea that they were indeed still alive, but imprisoned by some horrible curse. He wondered about their lives, and how they could have ended up here. Several times he ran to the fountain to bring water to wet their lips.
And then he saw Ali, so still and sad, just like the others.
Benaissa, forgetting why he had gone there, did his best to free his friend, and many others, but without success. Finally, overcome by despair, he approached the statues guarding the entrance to the great forest. He read the inscription, but ignoring it, loudly said:
-"Some other day I will defend my good deeds. But today I have a friend trapped by a curse, and many others with him, and I would like to ask your help to save them ..."
When he had finished, the statue with the angry expression came to life amid the noise of his own grunts and complaints. And without losing his angry air, he said:
-"What rotten luck! Here we have one who isn't a statue. Well, we'll just have to let him go ...! And on top of that he gets to take away one of our statues! So, which one do you want?"
Benaissa looked over to his friend, and Ali - who could move again - ran over and hugged him. Meanwhile, the trees of the forest opened the way to reveal a world of wonder and happiness.
When a happy Benaissa was just about to enter, it was Ali himself who stopped him. And looking back, to all other statues, Ali said determinedly:
-"Wait, Benaissa. I will not behave like a statue anymore. Let's do something for these people."
And so the two friends ended up finding a way to release all the statues in the garden from their life of imprisonment. And these hundreds of people emerged hopeful of having a second chance to prove that never again would they live like statues. From that day forward they wouldn't simply live to do no wrong and to avoid having enemies. On the contrary, they would live to do a lot of good in the World and end up surrounded by friends.
Author.. Pedro Pablo Sacristán
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