The most fertile place in the country of Kindron was the green area between the Obadiah Mountains in the north and the Teigh Mountains in the south. This region was known as the Vale. The people that lived in the Vale were simple, hardworking, and loyal men and women. They did not ask for or expect much, and they took great pride in a hard day’s work.
One of the hardworking farmers of the Vale was a man named Hanin. Hanin was respected among all the people in the Vale. He was strong, trustworthy, and compassionate. Hanin had a large family, a beautiful wife Hophra, and six children. The oldest child was Zander, a lad who would grow up to do great things. For now Justus was a boy learning the lessons he needed for life.
One day Zander was with his father watching the sheep by the road that leads to Obed, the capital city of Kindron. This road was traveled often by important people going from Tarshish, the largest town in the Vale and the Capital.
While Hanin and Zander were watching the sheep a caravan traveling north to Obed went past on the road. The people of the caravan were rich people, the important merchants and politicians of Tarshish going to pay tribute to King Solon at his palace in Obed.
Riding along with the caravan, on their own horses, was a group of five boys, just a little older thanZander. These five boys were spoiled and pampered. They did not know what work was like and believed that people like Hanin and Zander were beneath them. These five boys raced their horses off the path and through the sheep, scattering Hanin’s flock in many directions. One even took his riding stick and hit Hanin over the head with it.
When Zander saw the blood running down the cheek of his father and heard the laughter of the boys, he became anger. He picked up a rock to throw at the boys, but his father put his hand on Zander’s shoulder and shook his head.
“Zander, those boys don’t know any better. Don’t blame them for not understanding how to treat other people.”
“But Dad, they hurt you and scattered the sheep. They should pay for what they have done.”
“My son, they will learn one day about the trouble the cause. Our job is not to repay what they have done to us, but to show them a better way to live.”
“But Dad...”Zander said
“There are no buts Zander, that is how Arkia (God) wants us to live.”
As Hanin and Zander herded the scattered sheep back together it was hard for Zander to get over his rage and anger at what the five boys who had done this.
Over the next week Zander watched his father closely. He watched as Hanin gave vegetables to a man who was trying to steal them. Zander saw his father go and help repair the house of a neighbor after a storm. Zander also sat and ate supper with three travelers whom Hanin had invited to stay the night. Zander knew that his father lived what he believed, and that his dad expected Hanin to do the same.
About a week after the incident with the five boys, Zander was leading the two milk cows to the pond so they could drink. Sitting by the water watching the two cows drink, Zander noticed two horses and riders approaching them. As they approached, Zander recognized them as two of the boys who scattered their sheep the week before. The anger returned to Zander. He wanted anything to hurt them like they had hurt his father.
It was then that Zander realized the two boys were crying. They rode up to the pond, and with tears in their eyes, said, “We are lost, can you help us?”
At first Zander wanted to smile and say “No,” but he remembered the words of his father, “We are to show them a better way to live.”
Zander nodded his head and says, “I will help you. Tell me what happened.”
Zander led the boys back to the farm and on the way the boys explained how they decided to have a race. They had a raced away from the trail. After they finished their race they tried to get back to the road, but they could not find it. Once they got to the farm, Zander saw his father talking with two men. Each man was dressed in new clothes and riding beautiful horses. When the boys saw the two men they took off at a gallop. The two men were the boys’ fathers looking for them.
As the rich and important people rode away Hanin looked at his son and said, “Zander I am proud of you. You could have left those two boys in the wilderness lost because of what they did to us, but instead you showed them a better way to live.”