Many years ago, Navajos were plagued by monsters. These Native Americans fought them bravely and destroyed all but four of the creatures. The four, however, escaped and hid in a cave in the mountains. From time to time they would come out of the cave and attack the people of the village.
A young Navajo man and woman decided to get rid of these pests, so they climbed up the mountain to find their hiding place. When the two came near the cave, they could hear the monsters bellowing, so they hid behind some rocks until it was dark. When all was quiet, the two Navajos crept into the cave. All the monsters were asleep. The young man grabbed the nearest monster by the hair and before it had time to awaken, dragged it out of the cave.
The monster, seeing the young man’s sharp knife, was very frightened. “Please do not kill me”. It begged, shivering, “I am cold. If you kill me there will be no more snow, the streams will dry up and your people will die of thirst”. The two thought for a moment and talked the situation over. “You are right,” they said to monster. So they tied Cold to a tree and went back into the cave.
The second monster also begged for its life. “I am Hunger,” it said. “If people do not know hunger, they will not eat and they will starve to death. Can you eat if you are not hungry?” So they tied Hunger to a tree and went back for the other two.
The next one was Old Age, who came weakly out into the open. Why didn’t they kill this creature? Well, they thought about the wise guidance which the old men and women of the Navajo gave to the younger members. They remembered the kindness of the grandmothers and grandfathers. So they helped Old Age sit on a rock, and they turned their attention to the last monster, Poverty.
Was there any reason to spare Poverty? The two thought about the question for a long time. Then they decided that if all the people had riches they would become selfish and idle, and if no effort was required to get things, people would not appreciate them so much. So the young man and the young woman spared the four monsters and went down the mountain. But they never forgot the four monsters and kept reminding themselves and everyone in town why they spared them.
Do you wonder why do people suffer in life? Why is there unfairness in the world?
Why are some people born rich while others suffer from poverty and hunger? Why are some people healthy and others not? … etc.