Cactico Short Stories – The Wisest Creature

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A long time ago, there was a special forest on an island faraway from all the continents. People called it the Faraway Forest and many different creatures lived in this forest. Among all the animals and insects, the owls were considered the wisest.

The Tale of Cibo

A baby white-tailed deer named Cibo was curious about what made an animal wise. He wanted to be the wisest animal and so when he asked his mother, “What does it mean to be wise?”, his mother said, “Don’t trouble yourself with such things, make sure you eat plenty from the ground, so that you can stay strong and healthy to outrun the wolves.”

Cibo was not satisfied with that answer. All the stories he heard from other deer was that of food they ate from the ground or what kind of predator they escaped. He didn’t want to be like the other deer, he wanted to be wise. So he decided to visit the owls.

As soon as he reached the owls’ tree home, Cibo asked openly, “What does it mean to be wise?” The owls all laughed in unison. The chief owl stepped up and said, “foolish child, go back to your mother. You might run into wolves out here, and we won’t be able to help you.”

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“I’m tired of being told to fear wolves and to follow my mother! I want to be wise, just like all of you!” shouted Cibo.

The chief owl paused for a moment. Soon after he replied, “We are not wise. We simply use the wind to speak and to fly. The wind is wise, try asking the wind.”

Just then, a robin flew down from one of the branches. ” The wind hears everything. You can’t hear my songs unless the wind blows it. We can’t hear your words unless the wind blows it. You can ask the wind all you want, it will never give you a direct answer,” the robin said confidently.

All the owls stood with their beaks wide open. “The robin is the wisest animal!” they all declared. 

“These old fools don’t know a thing,” the robin whispered to Cibo, “The wisest creature is the butterfly. Go visit the garden of roses, there you will find her.”

Quietly the baby deer nodded, and headed towards the garden of roses to meet the butterfly.

As soon as Cibo reached the garden, he asked openly,” What does it mean to be wise?”

A few moments later, the butterfly flew out from one of the bushes, “foolish child, go back to your mother. You might run into wolves out here, and I don’t want to hear your screaming!”

Cibo was furious, as soon as he opened his mouth, the butterfly said, “fine, fine. I can see that you’re determined. What have you heard? Why are you here?”

“I went to see the owls, and when I asked them what it means to be wise, they said the wind is wise.”, said Cibo, “Then a robin descended from the branches and gave us a big speech, and the owls said that he was the wisest. Then the robin whispered to me that you, the butterfly, were the wisest, and so now I’m here.” 

“Those old fools know nothing,” said the buttefly. “I can’t believe the animals believe that owls are the wisest, what a joke!” she laughed.

“So is the robin correct? Are you the wisest creature?” asked Cibo.

“Yes and no” she said calmly.

“What do you mean ‘yes and no’?” Cibo asked.

“The owls know only to speak and to fly, so they think the wind is the wisest. The robin knows that something controls the wind, so he thinks that whatever controls the wind is the wisest.”

“Wait a second,” the deer was confused, “Are you suggesting that you can control the wind?”

“I can create a tornado with a flap of my wings, I can influence what the wind does.”

Cibo suddenly became pale. He started to grow afraid of the butterfly.

“Why are you shivering?” she asked.

“I-I’m n-not sh-shivering,” Cibo tried to lie, but failed.

“Do not be afraid, I can create tornadoes, yes, but not immediately. It takes time.” said the butterfly.

“Why does no one know about this!? We have to warn everyone how dangerous you are! Forget about wolves, you’re the real danger!”

The butterfly burst into laughter. After she calmed down, she said,”I am a danger to no one. We all can do incredible things.”

Cibo became curious, “can I do incredible things, too?”

“We all can.” she repeated.

“What steps do I have to take to do incredible things?” Cibo asked.

“Eat from the ground and outrun the wolves. Make sure to stay close to your mother until you are older.” she said plainly.

“That’s it?” Cibo was disappointed.

“Don’t worry, like I said, doing incredible things takes time. Just keep doing that and you will be fine,” the butterfly explained.

“Alright then,” and with that, Cibo headed back home to his mother.

Years Later

Many years passed, Cibo made sure to eat what he could and to follow his mother. Eventually they were chased by wolves, but Cibo outran them all, although he lost a couple of his friends to the wolves. Soon after, Cibo became the fastest deer, and so the others declared him the leader.

One day, Cibo and his herd were drinking from the river. Suddenly, they were ambushed by wolves. Cibo was not scared, he walked up to the wolves and threatened, “Leave now, or else…”

The wolves were so surprised they began to laugh. “We are going to eat you now,” the pack leader said.

“If you do not leave, I will blow you away to the other side of the river.” Cibo said confidently.

“Yeah, right!” the wolf leader chuckled. The pack of wolves then got ready to attack.

“Plant your feet firmly on the ground!” Cibo shouted. The other deer obeyed.

Suddenly a small tornado appeared and blew the wolves away to the other side of the river. The deer remained in place.

“Hooray!” they all cheered, “Cibo, you are our hero!”.

Cibo paused for a moment. After taking a deep breath, he said,” I am no one’s hero but my own. All I did is what I could do to the best of my ability. That is all we can do. I ate and I ran and now I am here. Now that the wolves are gone, I no longer need to run. Everyone, we must all do what we can and accept the things we can’t. Otherwise, we will be blown away in the wind.”

All the animals in Faraway Forest, from the owls, to the wolves that were on the other side of the river, bowed down to Cibo and declared him the wisest creature.

 

The End
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