Beauty and Grey: A Wise Leader
A thousand-deer herd once included a deer who served as its leader. His two sons. One had smooth reddish fur, bright, alert eyes, and was very tall and slender. His name was Beauty. The other was tall, slim, and had the colour grey. It was called Grey.
After they had reached adulthood, their father once called Beauty and Grey to him. He stated: “Due to my advanced age, I am unable to take care of all the deer in this large herd. As I transition out of full-time childcare, I want you, my two grown children, to take the reins. Each of you will be in charge of 500 deer after we divide the herd.” So, it was finished.
In India, deer are constantly in danger during harvest time. The deer are compelled to enter the rice paddies and eat it when it is at its tallest. In order to kill the deer and prevent them from destroying their crops, people dig pits, drive sharp stakes into the ground, and construct stone traps.
The wise old deer called the two new leaders to him because he knew it was the right time of year. He suggested that they move the herds away from the perilous farmlands and up into the mountain forest. He had always avoided harming or killing the deer in this way. When the harvest was done, he would then return them to the lowlands.
He would stay behind and go into hiding because he was too old and frail to travel. He cautioned them to drive carefully and safely. Grey and Beauty both left with their herds for the mountain forest.
The townspeople along the route were aware that the deer were migrating from the low-lying farmlands to the high countryside at this time. In order to kill the deer, they hid along the route and did so.
Grey disregarded his father’s sage advice despite it being wise. He was in a hurry to reach the lush mountain forest, not taking care to travel safely. As a result, he moved his herd continuously throughout the night, at dawn and dusk, and even in the middle of the day. This made it simple for the people to use bows and arrows to kill the deer in Grey’s herd. Many people were killed and injured, and many of them later died in agony. Only a few deer were still alive when Grey arrived in the forest.
The tall, slender Beauty with the red fur was wise enough to recognise the threat to his moving herd. He therefore took great care. He was aware that it was safer to stay away from all people, including the villages. Even at dawn or dusk, he was aware that it was not safe. He moved only during the night as he led his herd far around the villages. No one was hurt or killed when Beauty’s herd arrived in the mountain forest.
The two herds came together and stayed together in the mountains well after the harvest had ended. Then they started heading back toward the agricultural region.
After the first trip, Grey had learned nothing. He was eager to reach the warmer lowlands because it was growing cold in the mountains. He continued to be careless in this manner. Once more, the people crept up on the deer while it was hiding and killed it. Grey’s entire herd was slain, and the villagers later consumed or sold the meat. Only Grey himself made it through the journey.
Beauty guided his flock with the same caution as before. All 500 deer were brought back in perfect safety by him. The old chief spoke to his doe while the deer were still far away “View the deer returning to us. Beauty is surrounded by all of his admirers. Grey returns hobbling without his entire herd of 500. Everyone will always be safe if they follow a wise, honourable leader. Those who follow a foolish, careless, self-centered leader will encounter difficulties and be destroyed.”
The old deer eventually passed away and was reborn as he should have been. Beauty rose to become the herd’s leader, lived a long life, and was adored and respected by all.
The moral is: A wise leader puts the safety of his followers first.