(Thursday, 4 May 2006)
While I was doing the performance review, I had a problem. I was not sure whether one of my team members was “very good” or “excellent”. Then I dreamed this story and I graded the person with satisfaction from either side.
[Note: As a tradition, Maasai women marry an age group and not a person. However, this was Indian dreaming about Maasai village.
Also, as a tradition, a young Massai man can not marry till he kills a lion but that practice is vanishing fast because of laws for protection of animals.]
There was a Maasai village in which lived two friends named “Very good” and “Excellent”.
As the luck had to have it, both of them fell for the same girl, “Beauty”. “Beauty” was a sculpture of ebony and beauty at its best. Both of them proposed her on the same day. Interestingly, both “Very good” and “Excellent” got the same snub: “I am not going to marry likes of you. I am going to marry a lion!”
“Excellent” just disappeared from the village after the incidence.
“Very good” started thinking about how to prove him a “lion”. He spent the rest of the day thinking about it. From second to seventh day he was sick. He even had to hand over his cattle and sheep for grazing to neighbors for those days.
After a week, “Very good” felt better. Very soon he ate the best, drank the best and geared himself for the ultimate adventure – a lion hunt.
Lions recognize the red robe of a Maasai from a mile’s distance. They run away from the death in their search.
After three days of hard work, “Very good” could lure a lioness near to the heard. Luckily the lioness was hungry and one cow just had given birth to a heifer. No sooner than the lioness attacked the herd, “Very good” emerged from the bush and with one throw of the spear finished the lioness. He even saved the heifer unharmed.
“Very good” felt very happy! He lifted the lioness on his shoulders, collected his heard and started walking towards the village. He was a very good Maasai. Average Maasai can not think of lifting a quarter of the weight on his shoulders.
As “Very good” approached the village, he could distinctly hear drums of marriage. He was surprised. None was around when he hunted the lioness. How did the villagers know he hunted a lioness? Or was someone else getting married?
As he reached the village, he asked someone: “Who is getting married?”
“Excellent and Beauty!”
“”Excellent” came up in the morning with a lion on a leash and gave “Beauty” a choice. If she still wanted to marry a lion, he has got him as a cattle and if she changed her mind than he was available. Excuse me, the marriage is just starting.”
Apparently, “Excellent” caught a lion in the cavern and kept him hungry for three days and tamed him and put him on the leash.
Following the great tradition of Maasai folk, “Very good” skinned the lioness and gifted the skin to the newly wed couple.