The cure for the plague and why Tortoise hid Papa Tortoise away

Once upon a time the animal kingdom was plagued by a deathly disease from which many members, especially the old and aging died. Survival of the Fittest, their king, announced that it was best the elderly died instead of the children and youths. No one opposed the king’s orders that the elderly and aging should be left outside as goodwill offerings to the rampaging plague.

No one except Tortoise. Here is why he saved Papa Tortoise when other animals were offering their parents to the plague. His father had warned him long ago about two plagues that were coming to the kingdom in quick succession. Both plagues appeared unrelated and different but they were almost two sides of a coin. The first plague did not look anything like a plague. It did not have any of the usual trappings of a plague because the animals did not fall ill. Neither did they look ill. On the contrary, they looked full-fleshed and well fed. After having embraced the suggestion from a stranger to replace all the plants on their farms with new seedlings that produced robust and fleshly yields. By the end of the first season of harvest, most of the animals were so impressed with the size and presentations on their farms that they had unending praises for the stranger and his new ways. Big and robust harvest became the new normal.

But Papa Tortoise did not embrace the new wave. He had not replaced the plants on his farm with the new plants. Instructively, he was quiet about his decision, especially the part which insisted no one in his family was permitted to eat any of the full fleshed crops that now grew on most farms in the animal kingdom. Unfortunately, for the rest of the animals, what they gained in weight and form, they lost in quality. Papa Tortoise called them BFN, Big for Nothing!

When the second plague came calling, it met little or no resistance from the animals. It settled in quickly and in no time, the number of those dying began to mount. There was panic everywhere. Except in the house of Papa Tortoise. He told his family there was no plague that didn’t have its antidote in the bush. He made it a point to stress the difference between the natural bush and the now commonly grown modified bush. The material yields of the natural bush did not compare with the material yields from the modified bush but whereas the former provided remarkable resistance to common plagues, the latter had next to nothing in terms of strong resistance to the weakest plague.

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