The Chief Who Was No Fool: Part 1
"Help me," the old man begged. "My neighbor has stolen from me."
The paramount chief gladly listened. It pleased him that others recognized his wisdom. "What exactly is the problem?" questioned the chief.
"My neighbor stole my goats. I'm a poor man, too poor to replace them."
"And what do you have to say?" the chief asked the man's neighbor.
"I don't know what he is talking about," answered the neighbor. "I have many goats but none of them belong to this man."
This would not be an easy problem to settle. The paramount chief would have to rely on his wisdom. It was the kind of problem he enjoyed the most.
"I have a test for you," announced the chief. "Whoever passes the test will own the goats. Go home until you can answer this for me. I want to know what is the fastest thing in the world. Do not return until you have my answer."
The two men left shaking their heads. Who could answer that question?
The old man repeated the question to his daughter, Ziah. She was as beautiful as she was wise. Right away, she whispered the answer that would please the chief. The old man returned to the chief the following morning.
The chief was surprised. "You already have an answer for my question?"
"Yes," replied the old man, "it was not difficult."
"And what is the fastest thing in the world?"
"Time," answered the old man. "We never have enough of it. It always goes too fast. There is never enough time to do all that we want to do."
The answer amazed the paramount chief. He wasn't sure if he himself could have answered the question as well. "Who helped you? Who gave you these words?" demanded the chief.
"They are my own words, my own thoughts," lied the old man. "There is no one else who helped me."
"If you are not telling the truth, I will punish you," warned the chief.
The old man was too afraid to continue the lie. "It was my daughter, Ziah, who gave me the words," he confessed. "She is a very wise woman."
"She must be!" thought the chief. "I would like to meet this woman."
Not long after that the old man presented his daughter Ziah to the paramount chief. If the chief was amazed with her wisdom, he was captivated by her beauty. "You are indeed a wise and lovely woman. I would be honored to have you as my wife. Will you marry me?"
"The honor is mine," smiled Ziah.