It was mid-morning and a light mist had descended into the forest through which the Shaman and his young friend were taking a walk. The Shaman periodically slowed to point out to the boy a certain kind of plant and to explain to him its uses. Then, without warning, the Shaman suddenly stopped dead in his tracks. The boy marched on a little further, before realising what had happened and turning round to walk back to where the Shaman stood. He looked into the Shaman's eyes expectantly. He had come to recognise the look which he saw there, intense yet somehow vacant.
"You see all these trees?" the Shaman asked, gesturing with his hand.
"Yes I do," the young boy answered. A tide of glee began to rise in him as he anticipated where this would be leading.
"Which trees do you agree with?" the Shaman asked further. The boy looked puzzled.
"What do you mean?" asked the boy. The Shaman ignored his question and pointed to a number of different plants on the forest floor.
"And these plants here," the Shaman asked further. "Which ones do you disagree with?"
"I do not understand you, Master," the boy answered tentatively.
"Good! Good!" the Shaman then reached into his tunic and pulled out his pan pipes. For a few minutes he played a wonderful haunting melody which captivated the boy's attention and caused him to forget all about the questions. When the music ended, he spoke again.
"Now! I hope you were listening carefully," the Shaman said. "Which of the notes in my tune did you agree with?" The boy just looked at him with wide eyes and open mouth.
"Good! Good!" the Shaman said again, then he marched off again into the forest at speed causing the boy to have to run for a while to catch up. Some time later they returned to the village and heard a commotion coming from the central area where a heated discussion was taking place between a group of men from their tribe. The Shaman gestured to the boy to keep quiet and listen for a while.
After a few moments he nudged the boy and whispered to him, "Now, which of these men do you agree with?"
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