Once, there was a certain rich man who had an only son. He was not only rich though; but he was also very generous and compassionate, too!
Therefore, and because of his generosity of his compassion, he became to have several slaves and servants; most of whom gained their freedom through hard work and loyalty to the rich man.
Whenever this rich man bought a slave and saw that the slave was honest and hardworking, he would soon restore his freedom to him.
In spite of his generosity and compassion for others, his only son was completely the opposite! He did not have any concern for his father, nor was he ever willing to serve him.
This reckless and obstinate behavior of the rich man’s only son persisted until it became the talk of the town. Everybody became amazed at the behavior of the rich man’s only son!
The rich man’s only son would prefer working for other people rather than his parent, particularly an elderly man who lived on the outskirts of the town.
The rich man’s only son’s disobedient behavior towards his parent embarrassed not only his mother though, but a cross-section of the townspeople and beyond; most of whom would wonder as to the motive behind such un-natural behavior!
Nevertheless, of all the slaves who came to serve the rich man, there was one of them who stood firmly behind him to the end. He vowed to be with him until he was called to the “great beyond”!
One day, when his master, the rich man declared him free to go, the humble slave said, “Master, please do not cast me away from you.” He sobbed.
“I have come to consider you as my father.” He pleaded with his master, the rich man, on a very sad note.
By that declaration though, the rich man being an understanding and compassionate man, soon reflected on his biological son’s behavior and said, “You are welcome my son,” he sighed.
“From this day, you are declared my own son,” he told the poor slave out of uncontrollable emotion.
That night, the rich man began to reflect on how his only son had turned his back at him, how this poor slave boy had served him in the past like his own father and how obedient and honest this poor slave boy had been to him over the years!
Then from that night, the rich man resolved to consider the poor, faithful obedient slave as his son, and vowed to turn over all of the properties he had acquired during his life time to him before his death; a vow the rich man kept secret from his family members, including his wife!
As time went by, the poor slave still continued to serve his Master with hard work, honesty, faithfulness and loyalty, all combined as always!
As for the rich man’s only son, he continued to stay away from his father, while serving other people not his kin; particularly, the old man on the outskirts of the town!
One day, the rich man’s only son decided to go on his own to experience life for himself elsewhere, where he was until news about the death of his father eventually greeted him one fateful day!
As the saying goes, “blood is thicker than water.” And therefore, since it was news about the death of his father, the rich man’s only son could not afford to stay away. But even before he could get there, his father was already dead and buried!
Once there, the first person he encountered was the same old man who he used to prefer serving other than his own father. The old man told him exactly what happened before his father “gave up the ghost”.
The old man, as a matter of gratitude, told the rich man’s only son that before his father could pass out, he willed his properties to his slave who served him faithfully until the cold hands of “death snatched him away” from this “man’s world”!
By that unpleasant revelation though, the rich man’s only son became helpless and almost went insane; for all that, he could not inherit his wealthy father’s bountiful properties because of his disservice to him as an only son, during lifetime!
A feeling of guilt dawned on him that while as he burst into tears as though there was no more hope for him in this man’s world! How could he acquire his deceased father’s wealth in the face of this harsh reality!
He cried bitterly as his tears ran down his shallow cheeks.
Seeing him in that state of being, the old man said, “Cheers! Don’t weep, my child. There is still hope for you.” The old man encouraged him that while.
As a result of the old man’s words of encouragement, the young man stopped crying; and suddenly, there was a flicker of hope visibly seen on his once dejected face.
Then the old man said, “You know what?”
Amazed, the young man shook his head and said, “No, Old Man. I don’t.”
“You have only one option in order to inherit your father’s property!”
The old man told him.
“And that is…” The young man said, out of anxiety.
“Your late father’s faithful slave.” The clever old man said.
Indeed, this was a state of confusion! Why? Why the slave! The young man thought.
But before he could ask, the old man said, “Your father willed his properties and wealth to his faithful slave before dying.”
“And what do I do in the face of this adversity?” He asked the old man on a reluctant note.
“Don’t worry.” The old man assured him.
“Go to your father’s compound, call upon Town Chief, Elders and your Uncles for a conference with them relating to your late father’s property. And when they are assemble, ask them for your late father’s property and wealth.
By that, they will deliberately ask you about which of your late father’s property you want; and if they do, tell them that you want his faithful slave who served him until his death as your inheritance.” The old man told him out of every sincerity.
By that, the young man immediately proceeded to his late father’s compound. Once there, he did exactly as he was told and everyone came to see wisdom in this demand. Why?…
Knowing that the slave who came to inherit the rich man’s property and wealth was also the property of the same rich man, the rich man’s only son inherited his deceased father’s property through the hardworking and honest slave; hence, a logical conclusion of the entire matter!… THE END.