[There is some dispute about this being the 100th Wisdom Story. Some time back, it was pointed out that I had repeated the same story and Denise thinks I might have mis-numbered a couple. So, this may or may not be a quasi-momentous occasion!]
When an accident deprived the village headman of the use of his legs, he took to walking on crutches. He gradually developed the ability to move with speed — even to dance and execute little pirouettes for the entertainment of his neighbors.
Then he took it into his head to train his children in the use of crutches. It soon became a status symbol in the village to walk on crutches, and before long everyone was doing so.
By the fourth generation no one in the village could walk without crutches. The village school included “Crutchery — Theoretical — Applied” in its curriculum and the village craftsmen became famous for the quality of the crutches they produced. There was even talk of developing an electronic, battery-operated set of crutches!
One day a young Turk presented himself before the village elders and demanded to know why everyone had to walk on crutches since they had been provided with legs to walk on. The village elders were amused that this upstart should think himself wiser than they so they decided to teach him a lesson. “Why don’t you show us how?” they said.
“Agreed!” replied the young man.
A demonstration was fixed for the following Sunday at the village square. Everyone was there when the young man hobbled on his crutches to the middle of the square, stood upright, and dropped his crutches. A hush fell on the crowd as he took a bold step forward — and fell flat on his face.
With that everyone was confirmed in their belief that it was quite impossible to walk without the help of crutches.