In Your Hands

There was once a sage
Who, having come of age
Was besought by all
In the great temple hall.

Under his charge realized
Was golden justice prized.
Such was his wisdom
That many came to his kingdom.

One day, a boy wanted to test
The sage’s judgment from the rest.
He carried with him a little chick
For his clever little trick.

On the pathway, said he
“I shall hide the bird in me
Concealing it in my hands
And shall ask the sage where he stands:

‘Do you think the bird I hold is well,
Or has it heard Death’s knell?’
If he answers the first, I shall crush it.
If he answers the second, I shall free it.

So the sage shall lose his bearing
Due to his forthcoming erring.”
The temple halls came into sight
Basking in the glorious sunlight.

The boy asked his query,
Taking time not to hurry
To enjoy every second of winning
Against a man of much learning.

Cupped was the tiny fowl in a curled palm
As the boy waited for the sage calm
To acquiesce his defeat
Against the impossible feat.

The sage sat down and began to speak
“My child, the fate of the bird so weak
Lies in your bones and skin and blood
You can let it live, or kill it if you could.

The choice is yours. In your being lies
A young life that cries.
In your hands lie your hopes and dreams
May it be in your grasp, or distant though it seems.”

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