ONCE upon a time there was a young lad named Lablia. He was sent on a perilous errand. One moment he had been grinding grain with a rock for his mother. The next, he had been called away by his father to deliver a message.
He had waited for the whole of his short life to assist his father, reaching out to manhood. It was important to him to be seen with approval, and this task set before him was as though a God had sent it. Such importance rested on such little shoulders!
So great was the burden, as the few miles to be covered were ravaged by warring men. And the scenes that he encountered were a most terrible hell. He did not want to walk through those roads. Bodies, some with faces that he recognized, with eyes that stared at him, with limbs that wandered - he did not want to pass through that way. But he knew his father's instructions.
And small though he was, it did occur to him that this might be the fate of his own little village that this message might help his parents and his animals that he loved so much. And so he ventured forward through the stink and open grave, he ran.
But before he had reached the end of that village, a large hand had caught him up and his throat was cut. He passed over with his mission incomplete, although many times afterwards he held visions of a triumphant outcome.
Such ordeal, such failure, such importance in trying - this he took with him, with great impression into his future life. This story unresolved, impressed upon the soul of Lablia.