It was sunny and warm in the beautiful town of Elefh. The sky was clear and blue like a canopy erected over the mountain peaks.
A young boy, Isa, who lived in Elefh, was sad. He had just turned 13.
He was sitting alone under a tree on the banks of the mighty river flowing through Elefh. It was getting late and the sun was about to set.
His father had been looking for him since morning. When he finally found him, the look on Isa’s face worried him.
“What is wrong, my son?” asked the father.
“Nothing,” said Isa. “I just have a wish that I think will never be fulfilled. I wish to become a wise man, wiser than most people. But I do not know how to do that.”
Isa’s father held his hand and together they walked home. On the way, he told Isa about a man named Ibrahim, who was said to be the wisest of all the men in Elefh.
No one had seen or met Ibrahim, but everyone had heard stories about him.
“People say he lives in a solitary house up on a hill many miles from our house,” father told Isa. “I will take you to meet him.”
In the morning, Isa and his father left to find Ibrahim.
The journey to the hill would take the father-son duo seven days.
They crossed villages and towns, rode horses and walked on foot till they reached the hill, which was hidden from the human eye by a long stretch of thick bushes.
The sun was exactly overhead, creating shortest shadows.
Isa was at the foothill, readying to climb.
“You will have to climb alone. I am too tired,” Isa’s father told him.
Isa began climbing, but midway up the hill, Isa sat under a tree to catch his breath. As he sat down, he was joined by a man who was also trekking.
Isa at once asked: “Who are you? Have you met Ibrahim? Does he live here?”
The man gave Isa a long stare, but did not say anything.
Then he asked Isa: “Who are you? Why are you here?”
Isa told him his reason.
Isa noticed that the man carried a walking stick and had a thick black blanket thrown over his shoulders.
“Why are you carrying these things? It is neither cold nor slippery here,” he asked.
The man got up and left without answering him, yet again.
Isa, after taking a good rest, resumed his hike. He soon found himself on a slippery slope. He grabbed a stick lying on the ground to support himself.
At the top, the air was cold and the wind strong. Isa took out a blanket from his bag and wrapped it around himself.
But there was no one on the hill, no house and no wise old man.
Disappointed, he immediately started to trek downhill.
The man he had met when he had stopped to rest was climbing uphill.
Midway, they met again.
“Now, you know why I carried a blanket and a stick. You must know that wisdom comes when you walk the path. The more you see, the more you learn. The more you learn, the wiser you become,” the man told Isa before continuing his hike.
Isa knew he had met Ibrahim.
He rushed downhill, where his father was waiting for him. On seeing Isa, he asked: “Did you find Ibrahim?”
“I found wisdom,” replied Isa.
The look on his face told his father that Isa had got what he wanted.