This story start in a hilltop, in the faraway Asia in one of those beautiful houses with rice paper walls lived a grandfather and three grandchildren. And there every night before going to bed, he was going to their room to tell them a story. They were listening fascinated and were falling asleep with a smile on their faces and with their minds full of the images arising from their grandfather’s stories.
Every time, in the morning, they were trying to reproduce through their play, grandfather’s fable. Every one of them was assuming a role as different as possible, for who was today a fearless warrior, the next day could become a snowflake. So this is how every day the yard was animated by their plays. The air was brought to life by the children’s laughter, as well as the grandfather’s soul warmed by the love of his grandchildren.
One day the youngest, and the most curious of the boys, asking his grandfather:
– But, grandpa, how come in your stories, the fields are full of grazing sheep and cows for the people of the village to eat? I’m asking you this because now you can hardly see a cattle or sheep stall.
– Hey, my dear, said the grandfather staring out the window with his mind far, far away in the past. When I was your age rumors came from other villages that the tigers had begun to attack a sheepfold and that three or four sheep had already been killed. The news stunned everybody because usually the tigers were hunting and living far from the human settlements. But the fear came up after our village entered their hunting territory, as well, and we lost a sheep, too. After they attacked for the second time, the men in our village arranged a tiger hunt. When people heard about their courage, other brave men from other villages joined them. And when they saw how many they were, they got so much courage that they decided not to come back home until the last tiger in all seven valleys was killed. And so they did.
There were many days and many nights until our warriors came back victorious and every house was decorated with a tiger fur.
The following years were quiet and everybody kept telling the story of the hunters’ adventures. I was young and I was listening fascinated. But along with the tigers’ disappearance, there began to multiply without any limit the gazelle, antelope and other herbivore herds, to the point that the meadows were left without grass for our animals, as well. And we no longer had anything to feed our sheep and cattle with.
Now I’m old and life taught me that God made everything in equilibrium and that everything is connected.
But, in our ignorance, we killed all the tigers because they had eaten some sheep. And now, instead of the hundreds of sheep and cattle, we have a tiger fur in our houses.
“Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshipping.” Hubert Reeves