St. Joseph Province

Missionaries Of Compassion

“Do as I have done” Jn 13,15


Rope Trick

A Jat and his family were on their way to the city. At noon on the second day of their journey they came upon a huge banyan tree and decided to rest under it for a while. The Jat did not want to stay idle so he decided to make a rope. He sent his eldest son to a town nearby to buy jute; he sent his second son to buy vegetables, and the third to buy provisions. He assigned duties to his daughters-in-law too. One was sent to fetch water; another, firewood. The third one was asked to knead the dough.

When he had got all the materials he needed, the Jat sat under the tree to make the rope. Now there was a giant living on the tree. He had been observing the Jat and his family ever since they had camped under his tree. He wondered why the man was making a rope. Finally unable to contain his curiosity, he got down and asked him. The Jat concealed his fear and kept on working. Looking defiantly at the giant he said he was making the rope to tie him. The giant was shaken.

Though big he was timid at heart. He fell at the Jat’s feet and begged for mercy.

“I’ll make you rich,” he said, and digging up a chest of treasure, gave it to him.

The Jat was overjoyed. He cut short his journey and returned to his village, a rich man. When his neighbour heard how he had come by his wealth he immediately gathered his own family and set out for the giant’s abode. There, he began issuing instructions to his sons and daughters-in-law. But his sons refused to leave the shade of the tree to run errands and his daughters-in-law just ignored him. He had to do everything himself. Eventually he got all the materials he needed and he sat down under the tree to make the rope. He was thrilled when the giant descended from the tree.

“Why are you making that rope?” asked the giant.

“Why else but to tie you,” said the man.

The giant smiled.

“So you’re afraid,” said the man. “Better give me a chest of treasure or I won’t spare you.”

“If your own family is not afraid of you why should I be?” laughed the giant, climbing back onto his tree. “Tie your sons and daughters-in-law before thinking of tying anybody else.”

“Medice, cura te ipsum;” is a very meaningful Latin saying, which means, “Physician, heal yourself.” First master yourself; have self control, then have control over your own family before you think of controlling others.

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