THE STORY OF TWO NEIGHBORS


Once upon a time, there were two friends who lived next door to each other. One day, they decided to go into the woods together to lay a trap to catch animals for food.

By late afternoon, they both got to a big clearing with many shade trees and shrubs and a good size pond. The two neighbors thought, "This is a good spot to lay traps because the spot seems to be ideal for animals to come searching for food."

One man said, "My friend, I am going to lay the trap down here by this big shady tree." The other man replied, "I like this spot too, but since you put the trap on the ground, I will put mine on top of the tree." Each man proceeded to lay their traps as planned and both went back home and bid each other good night.

During the night, the man whose trap was on the tree top discussed with his wife, "Since our ancestors' time, nobody has laid a trap on top of the tree to catch a four-legged animal. Therefore, how can I catch any animal by doing so? Then the man said to his wife, "Before daybreak, I will get up to see if our neighbor's ground trap has caught anything. If it has, I will remove the animal from his trap and put it into mine on the tree top."

So before the first rooster crowed signaling daybreak, the man hurried into the woods and saw a baby deer caught in the ground trap. He removed the wounded deer and placed it into his tree top trap and walked back home and went back to bed.

When morning broke, his friend came bright and early to his house, eagerly knocked on the door, and said, "Let's go and check to see if our traps caught anything during the night."

The neighbor whose trap was on the tree top pretended to be naive but mockingly said, "There is no need to hurry. I do not think mine has caught anything. If yours has caught something, could you please share it with me?"

Having said that, the two men proceeded into the woods heading towards the clearing where the traps were laid the day before. To each man's surprise, the deer was caught on top of the tree! Neither man said anything but went home silently and separately.

The one with the false pretense and with the deer in his hand went straight to Judge Parrot, knowing that his friend would go there to seek justice. He made sure that he sought Judge Parrot first to get upper hand in the situation. He told Judge Parrot the truth and bribed him with deer meat to bend the truth in his favor.

Judge Parrot, famous for being greedy and not doing justice for the innocent people, said, "Do not worry. I will demand the same in-kind token for my service, and if your friend cannot provide me the deer meat, I will rule by default in your favor."

Meanwhile, the other man could not understand how a deer went up the tree top and knew something was wrong. He was very sad and went to see Judge Parrot to seek justice, but Judge Parrot demanded payment for his services and the man had no deer meat with which to pay him.

The poor man was very sad and he walked and walked aimlessly with his long face until he came across Judge Rabbit who was sitting leisurely on a fallen tree stump eating a half-peeled banana.

Judge Rabbit was famous for his generosity, intelligence, wisdom and fairness, but he tended to be lazy, careless and always joking.

When he saw the troubled man pass by he asked, "Old man, why are you crying and moaning like a lost child?"

The man replied, "Judge Rabbit, please help me. I think I have been tricked by my neighbor. We both went to set traps in the woods to catch animals. We agreed to put our traps at the same tree, only I put mine at the bottom of the tree and my neighbor put his on the tree top. The next morning, surprisingly, we found a baby deer caught by the trap on the tree top and mine caught nothing. We were confused and both went to Judge Parrot to clear the matter for us. Unlike my neighbor, I have no deer meat to pay Judge Parrot, so I will never get justice. That is why I cry and moan."

Judge Rabbit casually listened and continued eating his banana. He told the man to stop crying and to sit down by the tree stump and he would help him. A few hours passed and he still sat unmoved, until the man got impatient and said, "Judge Rabbit, don't you think it is time to go meet Judge Parrot?"

Judge Parrot waited and waited for the man to come back with the deer meat he demanded. Just when he was about to rule, he saw Judge Rabbit and the poor man walking in clumsily.

Judge Parrot asked, "What kept you two so long?"

Judge Rabbit replied, "Do forgive us, but something marvelous and incredible happened along the way that captivated and delayed us."

Judge Parrot asked, "What was it that was so incredible?"

Judge Rabbit responded, "We saw catfish flying in the air to eat young tamarind leaves on the tree top."

Judge Parrot replied, "Since my ancestors' time, I never heard of such nonsense that you just told me."

Judge Rabbit retorted, "Since my ancestors' time, I never heard of a deer running to the tree top to eat leaves."

Judge Parrot and his defendant lost the case to Judge Rabbit, and the poor man got his justice and meat back. He thanked Judge Rabbit for his wisdom, wit and generosity.

SHAMELESS GREED NEVER WINS JUSTICE