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The mountain where old people are abandoned

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In a village in the mountains, old people used to be abandoned when they are sixty years old because people consider them not to be useful anymore. But a poor pheasant decides not to do it. Discover old people's value and wisdom with this story!

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was a small mountainous region where they had the habit to abandon old people at the bottom of a distant mountain. They thought that when they turned 60, they stopped being useful, which is why they couldn't worry more about them.

In a small house of a little lost village, there was a peasant who had just turned seventy. During all these years, he had looked after the earth, he had got married and had a child. They he had become a widower and his son also got married, giving him two lovely grandchildren. His son was very sad, but he had to obey the strict orders of his master. So he approached his son and said:
- Father, I am very sorry, but the master of these lands has ordered us to take all those people over sixty years old to the mountain.
- Do not worry, son, I understand. You must do what your master says-, the old man answered full of sadness.

So the young man took the old man on his back, because it was difficult for his father to walk in the forest and he began the trip to the mountains. While he was walking, the young man realized that his father was dropping small branches that were breaking. The young man thought that he wanted to mark the path to be able to go back home, but when he asked, the old man said:
- I am not doing it for me, son. But we are going somewhere faraway and hidden, and it would be a disaster for you to be disorientated and couldn't go back. So I have thought that if I dropped branches on the path, I would be sure you wouldn't get lost.

When he heard these words, the young man was touched by his father's generosity. But he continued walking because he could not disobey the lord of the lands.

When they finally arrived to the botton of the mountain, the son, with his heart broken, left his father. He decided to use another path to go back home, but it was dark and he couldn't find the way back. So he went back and when he saw his father, he begged him to show him how to go back. He carried his father and, following his indications, he began to cross the valley again.

Thanks to the broken branches the old man had dropped along the way, they could arrive home. The whole family was very please when they saw the old man again. Then, the young man decided to hide him under the wooden planks of his hut so nobody could see him and force him to take him again.

The master of the country, who was quite capricious, sometimes asked his subjects to do very difficult things. One day, he gathered all the peasants of the village and said:
- I want to all to bring me a rope weaved with ash.

All the peasants were very worried. How could they weave a rope with ash? It was impossible! The young peasant went back home and asked his father for advice, who continued hidden under the planks.
- Look -, the old man said-, what you have to do is to plait a rope tightening the thread very much: Then you have to burn it until is only ash.

The young man did what his father had advised and he took the rope of ash to his master. Nobody had managed to carry out the difficult task. So the young peasant received many congratulations and praises of his master.

Another day, the master called for the men of the village. This time he ordered them to take him a shell with a thread through it. The young man was despaired again. He didn't know how to go through a shell! So, when he arrived home, he asked his father what he had to do and he answered:
- Take a shell and place its tip facing the light - the old man explained-. Then take a thread and tie it to a grain of rice. The give the grain of rice to an ant and make it walk along the outside of the shell. This way you will make the thread go from one side to another of the shell.

The son followed his fathers instructions, so he could take the shell to the lord of the land. The lord was very impressed:
- I am proud of having people as inteligent as you in my land. How come you are so wise? - the master asked him.

The young man decided to answer the truth:
- You see, lord, I must be honest. I should have abandoned my father because he was elderly, but I felt sorry for him and I didn't. The tasks that he gave us were so difficult that I asked my father. He explained to me how to do it and I have brought you the results.

When the lord listened to all the story, he was imrpessed and he realized that the wisdom of elderly people was very important. This is why he stood up and said:
- This peasant and father have shown the value of elderly people. We must show them respect and that is why, from now, no old person must be abandoned.

From then the old people of the village continued living with their families even though they turned sixty, helping them with the wisdom they had accumulated throughout their lives.

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