THE COST OF ENVY
In the ancient city of Babylon men lived by strength and ruled with wisdom. Civilization worked on all fours in the fortress of Babylon and the wealth of other nations swam like a mighty ocean to the chambers of Babylon. The Emperor of Babylon conquered the world by his invincible army; which was profound in might, strength and wisdom. Richest men of the world carved their niche in the valleys of Nineveh and hunted for fun on the hills of Assyria. Some would go on a safari to Africa and get more slaves who would till their farms for them. The members of the Black continent only had tickets to enter Babylon if only they were ready to be slaves for the warriors of the land.
As riches flowed like River Nile, wealth formed a mound as gigantic as Mount Everest. One of the richest men in Babylon, Gaius Henry, a tall handsome man in his early forties built an empire for himself in Babylon. He was respected by the people and highly regarded as one of the wisest men of the land. He has the highest number of slaves, the biggest of farms and the largest herd of cattle. His fortune became the envy of all and what all men wish they could have.
The fortress of Gaius which serves as his abode was an architectural edifice which makes the eyes of men wonder and a beauty to behold. It was built not too far from the palace of the King and quite a number of people do argue which one is the best. The fortress has 200 rooms, the inner chambers were laid with gold and its entrance was laced with polished furniture. The fortress shines and glitters as the wood were covered with gold. The curves and bends of the fortress were intricately designed and it became a marvel of Babylon.
Renard, a peasant farmer who was in his early seventies served as slave in the palace of the King. Asides his work in the palace of the King, he has a small farm he tills which was usually cultivated by his wife and children. The septuagenarian has being a slave of the King since age 22 when he was brought in from Africa after the Babylonians conquered the North of Africa. Renard on his way home would always behold the beauty of the fortress of Gaius and wish in his heart if he could have such a building. It was his custom to always look sternly and religiously at the mouth-watering edifice to the point that his tongue could almost wag. He would go back home sad, distraught, disturbed and frustrated as he has given up on himself.
Lost in the wonder and the awesomeness of the Gaius edifice, unknown to Renard he never knew that Gaius noticed his religious worship of his fortress. Gaius wondered why one person would always look at his house every day and go home sorrowful. On this fateful day, Gaius decided to invite Renard to his chambers, he told his guards to bring him so he could have words with him.
“Why do you always look religiously at my fortress every day?” Gaius asked.
With fright and fear in his eyes, Renard answered: “My Lord, anytime I look at your house, I wish I had one for myself or a house close to the beauty of your house, But I am a slave and there is no way I could have acquired a land for myself talk less of building a house”.
“I think my Lord is wicked for I wish you will not be selfish with your wealth and share it amidst the men of Babylon and help the poor to be as rich as you are”
Gaius, a wealthy and humble citizen of Babylon had pity and compassion on the slave. Gaius said: “I understand your plight, but you are also wicked because you did not think of what the rich and wealthy go through to build their fortress, I will give you an assignment, I will give you a thousand shekel of gold, you shall keep it for two weeks, I will collect it from you in a fortnight”.
After the conversation, Renard departed from the fortress with a thousand shekel of gold in his custody. When he got home, he forbade his wife and children to enter his room as he kept the money in the treasure chest. He ordered his wife to sleep in the living room. During the night, Renard woke up intermittently to check the money. He was afraid and full of fear thinking that he would lose the money. This went on for a week as Renard was perpetually in fear; checking the money surreptitiously.
A week after the meeting with destiny in the fortress of Gaius, Renard ran like a deer chased by a lion as he went to the gates of Gaius. He asked for permission to see Gaius telling the guards about the urgency of the meeting. Soon he was in the chambers with Gaius as they had a face to face chat.
“I could not sleep because of the fear which gripped my heart, I was afraid that thieves would visit me in the darkness of the night and go away with your hard-earned wealth. Take your money so that I could have my peace”. Renard told Gaius.
Gaius replied; “Why will you judge wealthy men and think that they are selfish? You don’t know a bit of what rich men go through in their fortresses. Learn contentment and build your empire gradually, bring my money, take a hundred shekel to start your business, go in peace”.
Renard learnt a great lesson after realizing what it takes to be a rich man. He garnered his wealth gradually until he had enough confidence to build great empires and gain his freedom from the King.
P.S.:***Fiction: a creative thought of the writer and any form of coincidence was not intended.
“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” – Greek philosopher, Socrates
© 2015 by Osho Samuel Adetunji
About the Author
Osho Samuel Adetunji is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from Nigeria’s premier University, University of Ibadan. He is a poet, a blogger, a Public Speaker, an on air personality with a knack for short stories, inspirational articles and poems. He is a great thinker, creative and dexterous young man who does not only believe in excellence but also extols the tenets of discipline, hard work and effectiveness. He is an award-winning individual who is multifaceted and consistently measures success by effective impact.
He is a writer per excellence with articles published on VAVANE AFRICA, THE SCOOPNG, KONNECT AFRICA, Paarapo and Home zone media. He co-founded THE COURTROOM in 2012 with Tijani Mayowa. He is the founder of KREATIVE DIADEM, a new initiative which kicked off on March 1, 2015.
He is an inspirational young man who is addicted to going an extra mile in all facets of life. He is also a lover of football, tennis and boxing. You can follow him on Twitter with the handle: @inisamosho.
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don’t we need to see this from time to time?
Appreciate God for what we have and learn
to work hard rather than be envious of others
Yes, greed and envy will only lead a man to a pit. Thanks a lot for this comment imploring us to be appreciative.
Thanks for your encouraging comments.
Clear n concise story,well written…..av so known u for ur hardwork n personal self-discipline back den @d University of Ibadan.
Coming up wif such magnificent idea of speaking to distance souls tru writings,I salute such courage!!!
……DJOGBEFIA SAINT JOHN.
Thanks a lot Saint John. How are you? Glad to hear from you.
It is all for the beauty of words.
Thanks for your encouraging comments