“OUR POLITICIANS have a reputation for being open, especially in the area between their nose and their chin. Such has been the tradition for many a century, as the following proverb from the Buddhist Jataka tales shows.
A king, many centuries ago, was exasperated by one of his ministers. Whenever a matter for discussion came up at court, this minister would interrupt and begin a monologue, which always seemed to go on forever. No one, not even the king, could get a word in. Furthermore, what the minister had to say was even more uninteresting than the inside of a ping-pong ball.
After yet another unproductive session, the king sought peace in his garden away from the frustration of court politics. In the public part of his garden, he spotted a small group of children laughing excitedly as they gathered around a middle-aged, disabled man who was sitting on the ground. The children gave the man a few coins, pointed to a small, leafy tree and asked him for a chicken. The man took out a bag of small stones and a peashooter and began to fire the stones at the tree.
“He stripped leaf after leaf off the small tree with rapid-fire shots from his peashooter. In an incredibly short time, and with flawless accuracy, he shaped the tree like a rooster. The children gave him some more money, pointed to a large bush and asked for an elephant. The disabled marksman soon sculpted the bush with his peashooter into the form of an elephant. As the children applauded, the king had an idea.
The king went up to the disabled man and offered to make him rich beyond his wildest dreams, if only he would help with an irritating little problem. The king whispered something into the man’s ear. The man nodded in agreement and the king smiled for the first time in weeks.
The following morning, court began as usual. Nobody took much notice of the new curtain along one of the walls. The government was to discuss another increase in taxes. No sooner had the king announced the agenda, than the manic-mouthed minister began his harangue. As he opened his mouth, he felt something small and soft hit the back of his throat and fall down into his stomach. He carried on speaking.
A few seconds later, something small and soft entered his mouth again. He gulped it down mid-sentence and continued his speech. Again and again, he had to swallow during his speech, but such irritations were not going to stop what he had to say.
After half an hour of determined lecturing, gulping down whatever it was every few seconds, he was feeling very, very queasy. But such was his stubbornness that he would not stop his oratory. After another few minutes, his face was a sickly green color, his stomach was turning with nausea, and he finally had to stop speaking. With one hand holding his sickly stomach and another pressed hard against his mouth to stop something nasty coming out, he desperately sought the nearest washroom.
The delighted king went over to the curtain and drew it back to reveal the disabled man, who had been hiding behind the curtain with his peashooter and a bag of ammunition. The king shook helplessly with laughter as he saw the huge and now almost empty bag of ammunition, chicken shit pellets, that had been projected with devastating accuracy into that poor minister’s gullet!
That minister did not return to the court for several weeks. It was remarkable how much business was completed during his absence. Then when he did return, he would hardly say a word. And when he would hardly say a word. And when he did speak, he would always raise his right hand in front of his mouth”
“Perhaps, in our congresses and parliaments of today, the presence of such a sharpshooter would get more business done!”
Excerpt From: Brahm, Ajahn. “Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?”.
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