We Are All One

Many years ago there lived a rich man who could not see because he had a disease in his eyes. He was in constant pain and visited every doctor in the land. None could help him. The rich man became desperate and offered a huge reward to anyone who could help.

Also in this city lived an old man whose job it was to sell candy. This man was poor because he was so kind that he often gave away what little he made to those who needed the money more than he. One day the peddler heard about the reward and thought about a story he heard as a child. His mother had told him about a magical herb that could be found in the forest and was good for the eyes. With his mind made up, the candy peddler went to his wife to tell her of his plans. The man’s wife was angry and refused to let him leave the family to starve while he went on a wild goose chase to find the herb, but the peddler could not be persuaded. He left his family with a basket of candy and promised to return before the candy was gone.

The peddler left for the forest early the next morning and began his search. He walked and walked and quickly found himself deep inside the woods. As the man carefully searched the ground for the herbs he was seeking, he noticed ants scurrying around on the ground. On further notice, he saw that a rock had fallen into the stream, flooding the ant nest. The peddler carefully removed the rock, and the nest began to dry out. “We are all one,” the man said as he continued his search for the herb.

As the day came to an end, the man was disappointed but decided to find a place to sleep and begin his search again in the morning. When the peddler settled down next to an old tree, he immediately fell asleep and began to dream. In his dreams, he found himself in the middle of a huge city being escorted by soldiers dressed all in black to meet their queen. When he entered the shining palace, the peddler was afraid and fell to his knees before the queen. The queen said to him, “Stand up. We are all one now. You have helped my people and you have only to ask before we will help you.” The man asked the queen about the mysterious herb he was searching for, but the queen regretfully shook her head and said she did not know about any such herb. With that, the peddler awoke from his dream.

To his surprise, the man found himself once again at the ant nest. He shook his head in wonder, got up, and began his search again. All day long the search continued but without any luck. As night approached, the peddler realized he was lost, hungry, and sleepy. He suddenly came upon a temple where he decided to spend the night. As he approached the temple, he noticed a fuzzy green centipede also approaching the temple. Out of the sky, a bird dived to grab the small insect. Waving his arms, the man chased the bird away, picked up the centipede, and placed him on a bush with nice green leaves. He said, “I may be hungry, but you don’t have to be. We are all one.” Exhausted, the man laid down and quickly fell asleep.

Suddenly, the man was awakened by the sound of footsteps. He looked up but only saw the centipede and closed his eyes again. “We are all one, you and I,” a voice said faintly. Then the man heard a tiny voice telling him about a tree with two trunks deep in the forest. The man was frightened because he knew that the centipede was speaking to him, so he kept his eyes tightly closed. The centipede told the man that at the bottom of the tree was a tiny bead that, when mixed with wine, could cure the blind lord. When the first sunlight arrived, the man carefully opened his eyes, but there was no sign of the centipede.

The man got up and carefully followed the directions he had heard the night before. Soon he found himself at the tree with two trunks, but when he looked at the base of the tree he felt hopeless because the area was covered with pine needles. The peddler felt like weeping with frustration until he remembered the ants. He said aloud, “We are all one. Ants, ants, come and help me.” Soon the ants arrived and found the bead for the man. He took it carefully and returned to the city where he presented it to the rich lord. The lord mixed the bead with wine, drank it, and was instantly cured. He rewarded the peddler and his family who never had to worry about food or money again.