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Fiction #212
(published February 3, 2005)
The Student And The Box
by Papa Osmubal
One day teacher, Guro Lakambayan, gave a box to one of his students. He so admonished his student to not ever open the box. The student was so curious that he kept on asking his teacher what was in the box. Guro Lakambayan would always have the same answer: "It is something that is very big and very important." To avoid getting the same old answer, the student refrained from asking.

His curiosity would not stop disturbing the student that he would always feel the box, scrutinize it, shake it; but it seemed to him it had nothing in it. If the thing in the box was big, how come it felt as though there was nothing in it?

As time passed the curiosity of the student became unbearable. The mere sight of the box was temptation. Even in sleep he would dream about the box and its content. In his dreams he was seeing things in the box but they all disappeared from his memory upon waking.

What was in the box?

The student finally made up his mind. He opened the box, and found just a small piece of paper on which these words were written: If you opened the box, do not lie, tell me.

Very soon after reading what was written on the paper the student ran to his teacher and, in fear and regret, confessed he opened the box in trying to see what was in it. "Your obedience, it was what was in the box. For years you kept it, obeying my advice not to open it. Eventually you opened it, but you told me, obeying the advice I wrote on the paper I put in the box. In every instance I admire your obedience."

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