How the Boulder got up the Hill


A group of people saw a boulder at the bottom of a great hill. They tried one by one to push it up, but none of them could.


They went away to lift small boulders, building up their strength, but when they came back to the big boulder still none could push it up the hill.



A skinny man with a big head, and his friend who was called ‘the Idiot’, watched them.


‘I bet I can get that boulder up the hill!’ said the Skinny Man, and the Idiot said, ‘I don’t know about that, but don’t worry, I don’t know much.’


The Skinny Man immediately set to work. He gathered the people together and pointed out that they could get the boulder uphill if they worked together. So he marshaled them together and instructed them to push, but it was hard work and they all complained.


‘Don’t worry!’ said the Skinny Man to the Idiot, who was watching on from the side, ‘I’m not done yet!’


The Skinny Man told all the people a story. The Idiot couldn’t hear the story, but he saw the colour and life return to the people’s faces. Now aligned behind a common vision, they pushed better and harder and stronger than ever before. Sweat ran from their faces and their backs ached, but the Skinny Man kept repeating the story in their ears.


They didn’t give up. They pushed, and they pushed, and they pushed.


Slowly but surely the boulder was pushed to the top of the hill — oh how they rejoiced and celebrated, oh how they jumped for joy and praised themselves.


The Skinny Man ran down the hill to confront the Idiot and said to him, ‘see, I told you! You who doubted me!’


‘But I don’t understand,’ said the Idiot, for the poor thing was simple in the head, ‘why did you need to push the boulder up the hill?’


‘I can’t believe you’d ask such a stupid question!’ said the Skinny Man, ‘This is why I named you “The Idiot!”


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