In a far off land in a time long ago, lived two very much the same and yet very different kinds of people. One group lived in a culture that required them to shave off all the hair on their head. To have any hair on your head at all was forbidden. In their culture, they also had to bathe twice a day, whether they needed to or not. When it came to eating, they were only allowed to eat meat that was boiled and whether with meat or on its own, they were never allowed to eat vegetables that were yellow in color. One other way of living in which they differed from other people, was that they were required by law to lie down and sleep at midday every day. It was the law you see, and the law was everything.
The other group of people came from a different culture. Those people never completely cut off their hair. People wore their hair any way they pleased, and as for bathing, why some people might even go a day or two without it. Then again, others might bathe three times a day. They did as they pleased. They also ate what they pleased and it didn't matter what it was or how it was cooked. They just pleased themselves. If they felt like a sleep at any particular time, they just lay down to sleep.
These two different cultures of people lived at quite a distance from each other, and rarely interacted.
One day a Hairyhead youngster went off in search of adventure, and adventure is just what he found. While crossing a small stream, he was struck by a venomous snake. Just as he was fading into unconsciousness, a Skinhead, who happened to be walking nearby and had seen what had happened, took pity on the boy and made him drink a strong medicine. After the boy passed out, the Skinhead lifted him up and took him home. Although the boy survived the snake venom, it was weeks before he was well enough to care for himself. His parents were overcome with grief, for they felt certain that he had had a misadventure and was surely laying dead somewhere. Many people looked for him but couldn't find him.
When the boy was fully recovered, instead of going home, he decided to spend some time with these people who had saved his life. He found their culture really interesting and wanted to understand more of it. Eventually he came to believe that their disciplined way of life was far superior to the life he had lived as a Hairyhead. One day, having learned all the ways of this people, he had his head shaved to indicate that he was now one of them.
After a little time, he returned to his home to let his parents know what had happened to him. To say that his parents were shocked would be an understatement, nevertheless they were grateful that his friends had saved his life and they accepted his desire to live according to the customs of the Skinheads.
Not long thereafter, a young Skinhead boy, wondering what had become of the former Hairyhead boy, decided to go find him. After weeks of being lost in an unfamiliar part of the land, he came across a town of Hairyheads. Seeing that the boy was ragged, hungry and thirsty, some townsfolk took him in and fed and clothed him. He thought them to be very nice people and he was quite taken by the fact that they did not have so many laws to live by, and that people could bathe, sleep and eat whenever they liked. As the weeks went by and not having anyone to shave it for him, his hair began to grow. He had never seen hair on his head before and he thought it quite amusing. After some time, he set out to return to his people. When he returned home, his parents beat him. "How can you dishonor us like this?" they screamed. He tried to explain to them what had happened to him, but his family and neighbors were furious that the Hairyheads had tried to turn the boy into 'one of them.'
Not long after, a group of Skinhead townsfolk forced the boy to take them to the town of the Hairyheads, and made him point out who had allowed his hair to grow. When they found this family, they beat them so severely, that the oldest son in that family died. The Skinheads fled.
The Town Councilors ordered a group of town representatives to follow the Skinheads to determine from whence they had come, and then sent a deputation requesting that the offenders be turned over to Hairyhead justice. The Skinhead officials apologized profusely for the damage that had been done, and promised that the offenders would be dealt with according to Skinhead law. They went to great lengths to explain that the situation was not really the fault of the Skinheads, but of the Hairyheads who ought to have known better than to allow the boy to live as one of them. This you see is forbidden in law.
When the Hairyhead representatives reported back to the Town Council, it was decided that it was only right and just that the Skinheads be dealt with according to Skinhead law and that in fact, the family that took the Skinhead boy in, really ought not to have allowed him to become like one of them. They sent the deputation back to the Skinheads to inform them that the Hairyhead government concurred with the Skinhead government's decision.
After the Hairyhead deputation left the Skinhead town, the people of the town threw a big party to celebrate. "What were they celebrating?" you ask. Well it turns out that the Skinheads correctly surmised that if Hairyheads became Skinheads, no one in the Hairyhead government cared, but now that the Skinheads had taught the Hairyheads that anyone who lets a Skinhead become a Hairyhead will be punished, they realized that if they tried real hard, it wouldn't be long before all the Hairyheads became Skinheads, and submitted to Skinhead law.
Under the pretext of friendship, the Skinheads began to open up their contact with the Hairyheads, befriending as many of them as they could. Skinhead law was even altered to allow them to live like Hairyheads while in the process of befriending them.
It took a long time, but eventually, there remained very few Hairyheads in the land.
One day, a traveler from across the great ocean wandered into the land. Each time he approached the Skinhead people, they were openly hostile to him. They told him that if he wished to rest or stay with them, then he must shave his head and abide by all their laws. When he wouldn't agree to these terms, they threatened his life and chased him away.
One day, he happened upon a few Hairyheads and approached them. He explained that he was from across the ocean and that he was lost and in need of assistance. They took him in and fed and clothed him and gave him shelter. They neither asked for nor demanded anything of him.
One day he asked about the Skinheads and asked why there were so few Hairyheads. The old man to whom he addressed the question replied quite simply.
"Though we were once many, there came a time when our people chose to surrender the difficulties of independence for the comfort of being told what to do."
Two Other Tales by R.P. BenDedek
Most Recent Articles:
Islamophobia: Irrational Phobia or Rational Fear?
by R.P. BenDedek
February 13, 2014
I called that xxxxx a dirty rotten liar because he is a dirty rotten liar, not because I hate Islam or Muslims. By some people's definition of Islamophobia, saying anything nasty about a Muslim should be a crime - even if it is true. You think I made that up didn't you? The fact of the matter is that it has twice already been declared in a court of law the 'truth' is no defense in a 'hate speech' trial. My fear is that my own country has become so weak, gutless and godless that one day it will become an Islamic Republic. My fear is quite rational. Do I blame Muslims for this? No!
The Hidden Agenda: Israel, Palestine and Egypt.
by R.P. BenDedek
February 7, 2014
It seems that Israel has conspired to keep the truth from us. Watch the video and see how Israel treats Muslims, Druze and Arabs of all persuasions. But what is Egypt today? First and foremost it is an Islamic Country, one that has been struggling to catch up with Western economic success. But it is not exactly a success story
Only the Arab Christians Understand Middle East Truth
By R.P. BenDedek
Jan 11, 2014
Often completely unaddressed in the West is the fact that Christians are the largest persecuted minority in the world," states Open Doors USA President and CEO Dr. David Curry. Only in one place in the entire Middle East do the Christian Arabs get freedom of religion as well as equality...we see young Christian Arab citizens, wanting to join in alliance with the Jewish State. They already know that no one will be waiting for them out there, in the cold Christian winter.
R.P.BenDedek (pseudonym) is the Author of 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' (www.kingscalendar.com ), and is a guest columnist and stand-in Editor at Magic City Morning Star News. He is also the Editor of the 'Writers Journal' at Kingscalendar.com. An Australian, he has been teaching Conversational English in China since 2003.
Writers Journal Kingscalendar
"The King's Calendar" is a chronological study of the historical books of the Bible (Kings and Chronicles), Josephus, Seder Olam Rabbah, and the (Essene) Damascus Document of The Dead Sea Scrolls