"ALWAYS HAVE AN OPEN DOOR."

 

There was once a man whose wife had died and left him one son. The son was his joy. The son filled him with light.

One day the man was working in the fields when he saw smoke coming from his village.

He ran back and found the entire village burned to the ground. Bandits had looted the village and set it ablaze.

He frantically went to find his hut where he had left his son resting. He found only ashes.

But when he dug around, the remains of a young child were revealed. He burst into tears and screamed out to heaven for his lost son.

The next day, he had a funeral and buried the remains. Days, weeks, months and years passed, and the man still cried every day still mourning his lost son.

The other villagers soon thought him a crazy man, always in tears. The children of the village would laugh and poke fun at him.

It just so happened however, that those bandits had taken many children from villages and trained them to also be bandits and thieves of sorts. Sure enough, the son was alive and among them.

As he got older, he kept the memories of his father and his village. One day when he was old enough, he escaped and ran back to his village.

The village was unfamiliar to him as it had been completely rebuilt, but he managed to find the place where he used to live. He knocked on the door and a weak voice from inside asked, "Who's there?" He recognized his father's voice and was overjoyed.

He replied, "It's me! Your son. I've returned!" But the father said nothing, nor opened the door.

The bewildered son knocked again and loudly said, "Hello, it's me, your son! Open the door father!" And the father said, "Leave me alone. My son died in a fire. Go away!"

But the boy knocked again and shouted, "It's really me father. I escaped! I'm alive! Please open the door." The father replied in a weary voice, "Child, go away. My son is dead."

But the son kept on knocking. He knocked on into the night. The father just kept quiet and never answered, perhaps thinking some of the neighbor's kids were playing another cruel joke on him.

The son grew tired of knocking and eventually left, realizing his father would never open the door. The son thought, "If only he opened the door, the truth would have been revealed." But the two were never reunited.

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