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The Cunningly Paid Debt

Do not be cunning in paying a debt.

By NgenwuthePublished about a year ago 4 min read

Ken and Smith, cousins, grew up together in one neighborhood in a small city near the Indian ocean where they often played and had fun together. They were now grown-ups in their forties and about to build and settle with their families.

Ken started to build without first making sure his finances would be up to or better still without getting all the materials he needed. The project started, all the walls were raised but he was short of funds to continue. His house was about to fall because of his poor planning. He was never aware of the difficulties he may face. The snow season was fast approaching but he was short of tiles to complete the roof with and so he was very worried and started to think harder. He thought,

"Oh, I remember my brother has been preparing to build a house in two years to come, and he has bought some of the materials. He told me he has bought all the tiles. I think I should approach him and borrow his tiles so I can complete my work and when his turn is due I give back."

So, Ken went and pleaded to his cousin Smith who because of family ties could not turn down his request but carefully and wholeheartedly decided to help his cousin who was like a blood brother to him. Of course in their culture, male cousins refer to themselves as brothers while female cousins refer to themselves as sisters. He trusted his younger cousin could never let him down. Smith then gave with all his heart and wished him success, but reminded him to buy the ties in time before he begins his own project. They hugged each other and departed.

Ken carried the tiles home and his problem was solved. He used the tiles and completed his house and moved in comfortably with his family. As time went on he did not nurse efforts to get his cousin's tiles but procrastinating there was still time. So, he continued enjoying his completed new house. He was more concerned about buying his furniture and making up his children's school fees than dedicating himself to getting the tiles in time.

After some time his brother visited him early in the morning and reminded him that his work would start in two months. He was surprised that the time to pay back his brother's tiles was that soon approaching. He struggled to get cash but it was not enough. The prize for tiles had risen to forty percent more. He discovered that he was going to use more money compared to the time he borrowed the tiles. He said to himself, " If I were to buy the tiles two years ago, at the moment I borrowed them it wouldn't be this high and the money I have in hand would have been enough." So he decided not to give back physical tiles but money amounting to the number of tiles which he took at the moment of borrowing, and at the cost at that time. He kept saying this to his brother who now visited him often to ask for his tiles because his project was in jeopardy. He needed to roof his new house and take his family in before the winter storms.

"Wonders shall never end!" Bright exclaims as a bigger problem has just surfaced. They argued and argued to no avail until Bright in anger dragged his cousin to court. Instead of building his house in peace, Bright spent time and finances on the case at court. People who did not understand the issue doubted why instead of finishing his project he had pulled his brother to court and was spending more money and killing time. They took Bright for a cruel and foolish person. Judging from afar they wondered why he could be that mean to his cousin as they see no wrong in Ken. Some blamed him for abandoning his project and acting mean.

Bright who in the beginning acted out of love now is seen as a mean person for many in the neighborhood. However, the court got Ken jailed and the tiles were only paid back after several years. Bright's house stayed uncompleted until the next summer season, a bitter lesson to learn.

At times in life, it is good to be wise and firm to say, "No" to certain situations especially when we meet irresponsible people rather than acting in sympathy at our own risk. We must be firm and wise in choosing who to lend to, and on the other hand, beware of how we borrow. You may just become a sinner in public eyes after doing what you consider good to irresponsible people.

Short Story

About the Creator


Education For All

Grade 1 Teacher (CAPIEMP)

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