Monday, February 15, 2016

The Strong Ox and the Weak Ox - A Parable [V-Day Week 2016 EXTRA]

As I wrote last Wednesday's post, I thought of a cool little parable to illustrate my points. Unfortunately, the post became super long, so I decided to cut the parable and feature it in a different post.

 If you would like to know what inspired this story, or if you would like more knowledge about how oxen pull together, click here and read the three paragraphs that begin with "President Boyd K. Packer ..."

A group of oxen were milling around in their pasture when a farmer came by. "Hey there, oxes!" he said.

"We're called oxen," the Nerdy Ox said.

"Whatever," the farmer said. "I need two of you oxes to pull my cart to the next farm over. Who's willing to lend me a hand?"

"We don't have hands, but we'll lend you a hoof!" the Nerdy Ox said.

The farmer pointed at the Nerdy Ox. "He's not invited. Is anyone else willing to volunteer?"

Two oxen stepped forward. One was much larger than the other. "We can do it," said the Strong Ox. "I'm a little bit stronger than him, but we're best friends. I'm sure we can manage."

"Well, let me yoke ya, and we'll get goin'!" said the farmer.

The two oxen pulled the farmer's cart along. However, the Small Ox tired. He had to push much harder to keep up with his stronger friend. It didn't take long for the Small Ox to drag his hooves. The Strong Ox didn't notice at first, pulling her load as best as she could, but because she carried a majority of the weight, she tired as well. Both oxen came to a stop.

"What are you doing?" the farmer said. "We still have miles and miles to go!"

"Something is wrong," the Strong Ox said. She looked to her smaller companion. "What is wrong, my friend?"

The Small Ox ducked his head in shame. "I am not as strong as you. I cannot keep up with your pace, and as such, have allowed you to pull most of the weight."

"I see," said the Strong Ox. "I really did believe we could do it together. However, I see that, because I am stronger than you, we cannot work as a team as well as we would like to. Let us go back, and I will find a more equal partner."

The oxen pulled the cart back to the pasture. The farmer replaced the Small Ox with the New Ox, whose strength matched the Strong Ox. The Small Ox watched with sadness as his friend worked with the New Ox to pull the farmer's cart forward out of sight.

After some time, a new farmer came rolling up in his cart. "I need two oxen to help me pull my cart to the next farm!" he said.

"Thank you for calling us oxen!" the Nerdy Ox said. "I was worried none of you ignorant farmers knew anything about proper English semantics!"

The new farmer thought about what the Nerdy Ox would taste like in a burger.

The Small Ox turned away from new farmer, ashamed, but then the Other Ox nuzzled his side. The Small Ox saw she was close to his size. 

"Come on," the Other Ox said. "Let us pull this farmer's cart."

"But I already failed to pull one cart," the Small Ox said. "How can I pull another?"

"Because we are of the same size," the Other Ox said. "And together, we will share the load."

So the new farmer yoked the Small Ox and the Other Ox. 

The two oxen shared the same weight and load. Neither pushed ahead of the other. Together, they pulled the cart all the way to the next farm over, where the Strong Ox and the New Ox waited.

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