There was a clan living at the seaside of the “Land of Opportunities”. They were 6 men and 6 women. They lived in nice huts in a small village. These huts surrounded the shack of their chief, demonstrating his rank.
They were happy and comfortable with their life and deeds but the global warming process was endangering their survival. It was expected that during the next ten years the melting of the North Pole would produce the invasion of their land by the ocean.
Under this extreme condition, the need to survive forced them to seek for new opportunities. The access to other opportunities required climbing a cliff that separated their remaining land from the rest of the country. Fortunately, there was no apparent problem for climbing the cliff because in the Land of Opportunities there were ladders for everyone who wanted to grow.
The chief decided that it was time to grow before the sea invaded their property. So there they went, all together, while the chief entered his shack to plan the details of the new life. Everyone picked up a ladder and began to ascend the cliff. The ladders were large enough to achieve the upper land.
But while they were ascending step by step the ladders began to sink in the soil until they disappeared when they put their foot on the last step.
They looked astonished at each other. What kind of ladders were these?
As there were many ladders available they tried again….. But the result was the same.
They didn’t want to call the chief for such a meaningless problem. They had to solve it.
The senior of the clan proposed to build stone basements for the ladders to sustain them.
So they did and it worked!
They climbed three steps without problems but then, suddenly, the basements disappeared and the ladders sunk into the soil.
Finally, there was a unique ladder left. It was their last chance to grow.
To avoid spoiling their opportunity they called the chief and told him what had happened.
He was astonished and became wordless.
“We need to build ladders”, was the final decision. But the situation was extremely bizarre.
There were neither screws nor nails available to build ladders, because their use had been forbidden many years ago since people used them to screw and nail other people.
Ladders needed to be built using sticks and ropes.
“Let’s build one ladder to test it”, decided the chief.
So they built it following the model of the last ladder that was left. As soon as it was finished they began to climb the ladder one by one. The last one would be the chief.
It worked! And they reached the top land. But suddenly, without notice, the landscape changed and they were again on the same place where they had started.
“Crazy, crazy, crazy!” were the silent words of the chief.
They went to sleep to overcome their frustration in order to start from scratch the following day.
Early in the morning the chief decided to be the first one to explore the Land of Opportunities in order to avoid the frustrations of the group.
And there he went!
Of course he arrived and… “Good!” he thought; “and now what?”
Suddenly the landscape changed again but instead of going back to the starting point he found himself in the middle of a fruitful farm.
He became astonished and wordless again.
He picked up some “Apples” looked down from the new land at his group and showed them shouting that they should follow him because the Land of Opportunities had opened its gates. His invitation was accepted by some members of the group but others didn’t believe him.
Six climbed the ladder and joined him but five remained in their old village.
They arrived one by one. Every new member who arrived produced a change in the landscape making it more fruitful. Thus they started a new life away from the seaside. At the beginning it was too different, hard and uncertain, but fruitful.
What had to happen happened. Weeks later, three of the members of the original group joined them and were welcome and integrated as if they had been there from the beginning.
Two remained on the seaside. Years after, the ocean finally invaded the seaside and their village disappeared. No one really knows what happened with the two who remained in the village. It is said that they went to Peter Pan’s Neverland before the ocean invaded the seaside.
What is the Ladder?
Riddles don’t have a right answer; they have many possible answers…
(1) Riddles have many solutions. In the Far East, riddles are used to develop internal freedom and responsibility.
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