Advice Papa Gave Me: Tolerance & Patience

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By Charles Anyiam-Osigwe 

My Son, since you have informed me that you want to get married, I will tell you a story:

A young man approached his father and told him he wanted to take a wife. The father was very pleased to hear of his intention. However, before he would sanction the marriage, he would buy him a goat to husband for one year. If at the end of the said year, he had looked after the goat very well, he would aid him in everyway to get married. The young man agreed and his father duly presented him with the goat.

All went well for a few months. The young man tended the goat diligently. One day, the young man returned from the farm unusually late and extremely hungry. Before his return, his mother had already laid out his dinner at the usual time he was expected home from the farm. On his return, his anxious mother welcomed him and enquired as to his unusual lateness from the farm. He informed her that he had been weeding the farm and was oblivious of time hence his lateness. His mother then asked him to clean up quickly and go eat his dinner, which had been laid out for quite sometime in his hut and must be getting cold by now.

The young man hastily freshened up and went in to eat his dinner. On entering his hut, he discovered that his goat had already made a meal of his dinner. Hungry and tired, he was highly incensed. Fetching his cutlass, he went after the goat and beheaded it. When his father learnt of the incidence the following day, he summoned his son. “I heard the goat I gave you as a present to tend for a year lost her life last night’. The father said to him.

“Yes, Papa,” he responded, “can you imagine that the stupid goat ate my dinner before I returned from the farm yesterday. Papa, you can’t imagine how hungry I was when I came back. I lost my cool when I discovered what happed to my meal.

“Well, my young man, ” said the father, “what the goat did to you is nothing compared to what happens in marriage countless times? Will you be so quick with your cutlass each time? I am afraid you are not yet ready for marriage”.

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