Tongues on Fire

Tongues on Fire

I saw this little story the other day as part of brother-in-law’s “Thought of the Day” email. He sends it out daily to all our family members and some good friends. This TOTD originated with a neighbor of his (and my sister!) when the neighbor’s children went off to college and just continued. The daily message contains bits of wisdom, quotes from history and little stories with a moral or point. My brother-in-law has at various times added some trivia items, or sports facts or, currently, National Days. Today (January 15) is National Hat Day and National Strawberry Ice Cream Day. Who’d have thought that strawberry ice cream had its own day? Pretty soon chocolate will demand one, too! January 12, the day I saw the little story to follow was National Curried Chicken Day, National Kiss a Ginger Day, National Marzipan Day, National Pharmacist Day and National Vision Board Day. Just for clarity, National Kiss a Ginger Day is a day to encourage everyone to find their favorite redhead and give them a sweet kiss to celebrate a day specifically created to celebrate their hair uniqueness. This day puts a positive spin on a hair color that is most often made fun of. If you know a redhead with blue eyes, consider yourself lucky, as blue-eyed redheads make up only 1% of the world's population!

The Story: The Wise Cook  by Pat Nelson

There once was a king who loved to eat. When the castle cook grew too old to prepare the meals anymore, the king looked for a new cook. A young man applied for the job. The king said to him, "I want you to cook me the best and most important dish in the whole world."

That night the king sat down at the table. When he looked at the special dish, he exclaimed, "Why, that’s cow tongue!"

The young man answered, "Yes, it is. Nothing is more important than the tongue if it is used correctly. The tongue is used to teach, to explain, to command, to defend, to calm. Tongues are used to sing to babies and to make bargains. Tongue has to be the most important thing for a king."

"I must say I didn’t realize that, young man. You’ve opened my eyes. Therefore, tomorrow night, I want you to fix me the worst dish you know."

The next night, the young man served the king cow tongue. The king said, "What goes on here? Last night, tongue was the best dish in the world. Tonight it’s the worst. How can this be?"

"The difference is what you do with it, sire," said the young man. "Tongues make gossip, stir up trouble, and tell lies. Tongues are cruel and hypocritical. Therefore, tongue can be the worst dish in the world."

"Yes, I see. I also see that I need your wisdom in my court. I’ll get someone else to do the cooking."

There’s a lot of truthfulness in that little story!