The Shaman and the Light

“I have discovered something important about burns,” said the shaman.

“Good!” exclaimed the chieftain. “Since the last full moon, three of our best hunters have been badly burned.”

“This I know,” said the shaman. “In addition, I have discovered that one should never, ever cook meat by holding it in your hand, then holding your hand inside the fire.”

“What?” said the chieftain. “Everybody already knows that!”

“No,” replied the shaman. “Many of us stumble into that knowledge, but not everybody. I have discovered the magical principle and stated it clearly. Now we can tell people about it before they hurt themselves. Do you see?”

“I see now,” said the chieftain, “and I bow to your wisdom.”

“Apology accepted,” said the shaman. “This is why I am the shaman and you are just the chieftain.”

“That's true. Okay, I can call the tribe together. You can tell them what you discovered about burning. I can have them ready at noon today.”

“Not at noon. We will meet after sunset.”

“Is there some important spiritual reason for that?”

“Yes. I have a painful redness on my shoulders, and on the back of my neck. Obviously, one of the gods is angry at me. And for some reason the Sun God makes it hurt even worse.”

“Perhaps the gods are jealous of your insight about fire and burning and other magical things.”

“You are correct. After all, we now know nearly everything.”

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