By Seamus Anthony
Once a young man called Snoozer sat dozing in his favourite spot at the bottom of a great mountain.
All of a sudden he was rudely awakened by a foot poking him in the ribs.
“I’ll tell you what’s up – the answer to all of your prayers, that’s what!”, chuckled the old man.
“What are you talking about, Old Dude?” Snoozer asked, not really wanting to know. Just what he needed, some old crackpot getting in his face. Snoozer scrambled to his feet and started making moves to leave.
“Not so fast! First you listen to me.” Old Dude said “I live at the top of the mountain, and from up there I can see everything very clearly. Each day I look down to see you wasting away your youth sleeping all the time, so I thought I’d walk down and let you know that if you venture up to the top of the mountain with me, there you’ll find the answer to all your prayers!”
“Huh?” Snoozer hadn’t really woken up properly yet, and this old geezer was a bit much.
“The great secret of life! The way! Enlightenment! If you walk up to the top with me you’ll be able to see it all as clear as day!”
“Look mate…I don’t know what you’re on, but I am totally not into it. So, I’m just gonna go now, and you have a nice day, OK?” And with that, Snoozer began to back away from the old man, who was obviously nuts.
“I thought you might say that – so that’s why I brought this!” Old Dude then pulled out a large wad of cash. “If you walk up the mountain with me and answer my questions correctly, I will give you the money! If you won’t walk up the mountain, then no money for you!”
Suddenly Snoozer was much more interested! The bundle of cash Old Dude was holding out was really quite large, and being a very lazy young man, Snoozer had a lot of bills that were overdue and needed paying up.
“And don’t think you can just snatch the money off me, I’m faster than I look! You’ll have to keep up with me all the way!” Giggling to himself, Old Dude started running at a speed that belied his advancing years. Snoozer hated running with a passion, but he really needed that money. So he took off after Old Dude who was bounding up the mountain path.
The mountain was pretty big. And Snoozer was a bit fat from lots of eating and sleeping, and not much exercise. He ran as hard as he could, but soon he began to get puffed out, and eventually he slowed to a hurried walking pace. Old Dude was ahead out of sight now, but every now and then Snoozer could here him cackling away at the top of his lungs. It began to get dark, and very cold. Snoozer fell over, cutting his knee and grazing his hands on the rocks. His chest hurt and he kept getting dizzy with fatigue, but he really wanted that money. So he didn’t stop chasing after Old Dude.
Snoozer ran and walked and climbed all night. It was the longest, most miserable night of his life. He felt like he would never get to the top of the mountain, and doubts began to plague him. What if the old man was playing a trick? What if he came to no good up on the mountain? Snoozer’s mind raced. He felt like he was going crazy. Delirious tears rolled down his dirt-smeared cheeks, as he moaned and sobbed from his gut like a child.
Then, as morning finally broke, Snoozer stumbled into a flat clearing and saw the whole of his country spread out before him. He saw all the places he knew and loved, his hometown, and the houses of his family and friends. He saw his own house and he wished he were back there now, cosy and warm, asleep.
Then a voice spoke from behind, making Snoozer jump. It was Old Dude.
“Tell me, young man, does this world that you are from look like it has changed now you are at the top of the mountain?”
“No”, Snoozer replied, “It is still the same place”.
“So, are you telling me that it does not look any different to you from up here?”
“Oh, it looks different all right. I can see most of it all at once. The way things are set out is very clear from up here, and it looks somehow less real, more like a dream. But I don’t think it has changed, it’s just that I am seeing it all from a different perspective. It’s as if I am seeing the world the way God might see it.”
“Good.” Old Dude smiled and placed his hand on Snoozer’s shoulder. “Now you know the ‘great secret of life’.”
“I do?” Snoozer looked out at the incredible view. He didn’t really feel as if he knew any great secret. He looked up at Old Dude in bewilderment.
“I do?” He repeated.
“Yes you do. Now off you go. You’ll have plenty of time to think about it as you make your way back down the mountain.” And with that, Old Dude turned and began to walk away.
“Wait a minute!” Snoozer piped up. “Where’s that money then, eh?”
“Oh, of course, the money.” Old Dude stopped, but didn’t turn around. “I left the money at your favourite spot down the bottom of mountain. I guess you were so sleepy you didn’t see what was really going on!”
Snoozer suddenly felt a bit sick, and had to sit down on a rock.
“Well go on!” Old Dude said. “You’d better get a move on, or someone else will find the cash before you do!”
“Hugh…” Snoozer’s head felt like it was spinning on a stick. “What about you? What are you going to do now?” Snoozer called after Old Dude, who was shambling off towards a small wooden hut.
“Why, I’m going to bed, of course! All this mountain climbing has left me plumb tuckered out!”
If Snoozer knew about Curly’s Law, then he might have been a bit more motivated in the first place. You can read about it now by clicking here to get your Rebel Zen “Curly’s Law” Ebook – FREE!