The Tale of the Sands

a stream - tales of the sands

a stream - tales of the sands

A STREAM, from its source in far-off mountains, passing through every kind and description of countryside, at last, reached the sands of the desert. Just as it had crossed every other barrier, the stream tried to cross this one, but it found that as fast as it ran into the sand, its waters disappeared. It was convinced, however, that its destiny was to cross this desert, and yet there was no way.

Now a hidden voice, coming from the desert itself, whispered: The Wind crosses the desert, and so can the stream.’ The stream objected that it was dashing itself against the sand, and only getting absorbed: that the wind could fly, and this was why it could cross a desert. ‘By hurtling in your own accustomed way you cannot get across. You will either disappear or become a marsh. You must allow the wind to carry you over, to your destination.’ But how could this happen? ‘By allowing yourself to be absorbed in the wind.’

This idea was not acceptable to the stream. After all, it had never been absorbed before. It did not want to lose its individuality. And, once having lost it, how was one to know that it could ever be regained? ‘The wind’, said the sand, ‘performs this function. It takes up water, carries it over the desert, and then lets it fall again. Falling as rain, the water again becomes a river.’ ‘How can I know that this is true?’ ‘It is so, and if you do not believe it, you cannot become more than a quagmire, and even that could take many, many years; and it certainly is not the same as a stream.’ ‘But can I not remain the same stream that I am today?’ You cannot, in either case, remain so,’ the whisper said. ‘Your essential part is carried away and forms a stream again. You are called what you are even today because you do not know which part of you is the essential one.’ When he heard this, certain echoes began to arise in the thoughts of the stream. Dimly, he remembered a state in which he—or some part of him, was it?—had been held in the arms of a wind. He also remembered—or did he?—that this was the real thing, not necessarily
the obvious thing, to do. And the stream raised his vapor into the welcoming arms of the wind, which gently and easily bore it upwards and along, letting it fall softly as soon as they reached the roof of a mountain, many, many miles away. And because he had had his doubts, the stream was able to remember and record more strongly in his mind the details of the experience. He reflected, ‘Yes, now I have learned my true identity.’

The stream was learning. But the sands whispered: ‘We know because we see it happen day after day: and because we, the sands, extend from the riverside all the way to the mountain.’ And that is why it is said that the way in which the Stream of Life is to continue on its journey is written in the Sands.

SOURCE: Awad Afifi the Tunisian, who died in 1870.


When the Waters Were Changed

when the waters were changed - antiquefables.com

when the waters were changed - antiquefables.com

Once upon a time Khidr, the Teacher of Moses, called upon mankind with a warning. At a certain date, he said, all the water in the world which had not been specially hoarded, would disappear. It would then be renewed, with different water, which would drive men mad. Only one man listened to the meaning of this advice. He collected water and went to a secure place where he stored it and waited for the water to change its character. On the appointed date the streams stopped running, the wells went dry, and the man who had listened, seeing this happening, went to his retreat and drank his preserved water.

When he saw, from his security, the waterfalls again beginning to flow, this man descended among the other sons of men. He found that they were thinking and talking in an entirely different way from before, yet they had no memory of what had happened, nor of having been warned. When he tried to talk to them, he realized
that they thought that he was mad, and they showed hostility or compassion, not understanding. At first, he drank none of the new water, but went back to his concealment, to draw on his supplies, every day.

Finally, however, he took the decision to drink the new water because he could not bear the loneliness of living, behaving and thinking in a different way from everyone else. He drank the new water and became like the rest. Then he forgot all about his own store of special water, and his fellows began to look upon him as a madman who had miraculously been restored to sanity.

Source: Legend repeatedly links Dhun-Nun, the Egyptian (died 860), reputed author of this tale, with at least one form of Freemasonry. This version is attributed to Sayed Sabir Ali-Shah, a saint of the Chishti Order, who died in 1818 as reported in the Tales of the Dervishes.



the tortoise, the elephant and the hippopotamus - antiquefables.com

the tortoise, the elephant and the hippopotamus - antiquefables.com

One day the tortoise met the elephant, who trumpeted, “Out of my way, you weakling—I might step on you!” The tortoise was not afraid and stayed where he was, so the elephant stepped on him, but could not crush him. “Do not boast, Mr Elephant, I am as strong as you are!” said the tortoise, but the elephant just laughed. So the tortoise asked him to come to his hill the next morning.

The next day, before sunrise, the tortoise ran down the hill to the river, where he met the hippopotamus, who was just on his way back into the water after his nocturnal feeding. “Mr Hippo! Shall we have a tug-of-war? I bet I’m as strong as you are!” said the tortoise. The hippopotamus laughed at this ridiculous idea but agreed.

The tortoise produced a long rope and told the hippo to hold it in his mouth until the tortoise shouted “Hey!” Then the tortoise ran back up the hill where he found the elephant, who was getting impatient. He gave the elephant the other end of the rope and said, “When I say ‘Hey!’ pull, and you’ll see which of us is the strongest. ”Then he ran halfway back down the hill, to a place where he couldn’t be seen, and shouted, “Hey!” The elephant and the hippopotamus pulled and pulled, but neither could budge the other-they were of equal strength. They both agreed that the tortoise was as strong as they were. Never do what others can do for you. The tortoise let others do the work for him while he got the credit.




the snail - antiquefables.com

the snail - antiquefables.com

Before the evolution of the modern man when the snail had no shell, back then the snail used to be one of the fastest small mammals in the forest. The snail had an impressive average top speed of 14 kph exceeding the average speed of the rat by 1 kph. The snail with his speed and mobility could travel any length to get the best of the animal food in the forest which includes vegetables, seeds, nuts, small animals or insects.

Although the snail had a major advantage compared to other small animals, still it faced many dangers from numerous predators namely dogs, wolves, snakes and birds of prey such as hawks and falcons. The snail sought to protect itself from its predators as much as possible approached mother nature to grant the request of a protective shell covering and also its present body adapted to its new covering.

The snail’s petition was granted. The snail got a shell as a protective cover against its predators. After some time the snail became depressed because he had lost his mobility and speed as a result of the heavy shell covering on its back. The snail could no longer move swiftly to obtain and eat the best of the animal food, he resorted to eating plants and vegetables in its nearness. As if things would not get any better for the snail, the snail got evicted from the annual Small Animals Athletics Championship (SMAC) because the snail now possessed a  top speed of  0.003 miles per hour labeled as the slowest animal in the world.

Moral Lesson

  • Attack is the secret of defence; defence is the planning of an attack – Sun Tzu

Written by: Olayiwola Akinnagbe



antiquefables.com - formless nature of water

antiquefables.com - formless nature of water

Once upon a time in the animal kingdom, during the rainy season, the animals had an immense problem with flooding. Torrential rainfalls would inundate their farmlands and houses resulting in massive destruction of their crops and properties.

A community meeting was held to solve the flood menace, there the hawk argued that since water was the cause of their problem, they had to arrest water and lock him up in a dam. All the animals agreed to do as the hawk proposed and they thanked him for his brilliant idea. They built a dam and made water flow into it, unfortunately, rain would fall and the dam will collapse giving way for water to overflow causing intense flooding.

The animals would dam water all over again, the sun would shine and heat up water and it would vanish into thin air only to come down as rainfall flooding their farmlands and houses like ever before.

Although the animals possessed great numbers and strength complemented with high-level intelligence, they couldn’t defeat a less formidable opponent in form of water because of its formless nature.

Moral Lesson

  • Formlessness is in the eye of the enemy who cannot see what they are up to and so has nothing solid to attack.

Written by: Olayiwola Akinnagbe



antiquefables.com the wasp and the prince

antiquefables.com the wasp and the prince


A wasp named Pin Tail was long in quest of some deed that would make him forever famous. So one day he entered the king’s palace and stung the little prince, who was in bed. The prince awoke with loud cries. The king and his courtiers rushed in to see what had happened. The prince was yelling as the wasp stung him again and again. The courtiers tried to catch the wasp, and each, in turn, was stung. The whole royal household rushed in, the news soon spread, and people flocked to the palace. The city was in an uproar, all business suspended. Said the wasp to itself, before it expired from its efforts, “A name without fame is like fire without flame. There is nothing like attracting notice at any cost.”

Moral Lesson

  • A name without fame is like fire without flame




the mysterious puzzle antiquefables.com

In a college in Venice, a great puzzle had been placed on the notice board of the school by the founder of the school. For the past twenty years of the school’s existence, all the final year students would be availed the opportunity to try and solve the mysterious puzzle but no one could obtain the solution to the mysterious puzzle. It was once rumoured by some junior students that the solution to the puzzle lies beneath the great Tyrrhenian sea.

Fabio one of the final year students widely regarded as a student who was incapable of learning by his teachers made known of his intention to solve the puzzle much to the shock and the disdain of his classmates. Fabio employed every trick in the book possible to solve the puzzle but the solution continued to elude him. Fabio determined to get what he wants, set the puzzle on fire. He said to himself after the ignoble act, “the puzzle is burnt, there is no puzzle to solve anymore hence the solution “.

As soon as the news of Fabio’s act filled the school atmosphere immediately an assembly was called for by the founder. During the assembly, the founder pronounced Fabio as the smartest student in the school and will be duly rewarded, turns out there was no possible answer to the puzzle all along.

Moral Lesson

Written by Olayiwola Akinnagbe – antiquefables.com



african eagle and its disobedient child

african eagle and its disobedient child

An African eagle once had a child who was fond of disobeying her. In Africa, the Eagles believe that the best way to scold a child is to employ the use of the rod vigorously. They were of the assumption that an evil spirit possessing a child is responsible for the anomalous behaviour (s) exhibited by the child and the only way to make the evil spirit leave the child is to employ the use of the rod.

Over time, the mother observed that the more she chastised her child the more the child disobeyed her and also the more she grew resistant to her punishments. Henceforth, she opted to do things differently.

One day the child erred, the mother having enough of her child’s antics angrily picked the rod and proceeded for her child. She moved closer to her simultaneously striking the wall with great force just where her child was standing and screaming at her what she would do to her if she dares take her for granted again.

The child trembling in fear as a result of the vibrating force of the rod on the wall and its resonant effect although the rod didn’t touch her she cried profusely with hot streams of tears flowing down her cheeks. She apologized to her mom promising to change for the better.

Moral Lesson

  • Drop the threats and lose the stress: you can raise great kids with love!

Written by: Olayiwola Akinnagbe – AntiqueFables



The dog and his wife had an irreconcilable fight. They both got separated and they argued who was going to kill each other first. The dog was the strongest of all animals not even the big cats would dare him to a fight.

The dog felt it was unfair for a powerful being like him to kill his wife with a weapon, he concluded he was going to beat her to death with his bare hands. Next day he went searching for his wife, found her and began beating her. As he was beating her she began to insult him claiming a powerful being like him is not ashamed of beating a weak being like her.

On hearing this the dog lost his composure and he became exceedingly angry, the wife noticed her husband has lost his sense of reasoning pulled out a small knife from her back and stabbed him in his heart. Please leave a comment

Writer: Olayiwola Akinnagbe – AntiqueFables



Source: https://www.maxpixel.net/Fig-Leaf-Back-Light-Real-Coward-Fig-Tree-Fruits-1432291

A man who had climbed upon a certain fig tree, was bending the boughs toward him and plucking the ripe fruit, which he then put into his mouth to destroy and gnaw with his hard teeth.
The chestnut, seeing this, tossed its long branches and with tumultuous rustle exclaimed: “Oh Fig! How much less protected by nature you are than I. See how my sweet offspring are set in close array; first clothed in soft wrappers over which is the hard but softly lined husk. And not content with this much care, nature has also given us these sharp and close-set spines, so that the hand of man cannot hurt us.”
Then the fig tree began to laugh, and after the laughter it said: “You know well that man is of such ingenuity that he will bereave even you of your children. But in your case he will do it by means of rods and stones; and when they are felled he will trample them with his feet or hit them with stones, so that your offspring will emerge from their armor crushed and maimed; while I am touched carefully by his hands, and never, like you, with roughness”