Cincinnatus the farmer

In olden times the Romans were always trying to expand their Empire. They would make their army as strong as possible so that they could continually fight with other countries and conquer them. Once it happened that the Emperor himself was on his way to join his army. He wanted to lead his army to victory. The Emperor and his personal guards camped for the night at a hidden place. Unfortunately, some spies came to know where they were and the enemy was able to surround them. When morning dawned, the Emperor saw that he and his small troop of guards were trapped. Escape was impossible.

The enemy soldiers did not dare to touch the Roman Emperor until they had received instructions from their leader, and so they prepared to wait in that place for a few days. Meanwhile, a farmer from the area came to learn of the Emperor’s dire predicament. This farmer had tremendous loyalty to the Emperor. He decided to try his best to save the Emperor, even though he had no weapons and no military training.

The farmer gathered some other farmers and villagers and told them his plan. He said, “Tonight, when darkness falls, we will begin work. I want you all to come on foot, very quietly, carrying large logs. Some of you can make several trips while the others start building a solid wall around the enemy. We will divide ourselves so that we can completely surround them. There must be no gap in the wall. They are not expecting any counter-attack, especially not from a group of simple farmers. So we shall do this while they are resting. Our Emperor will suffer for only one day and one night. Then we shall free him!”

With these spirited words, the farmer inspired all the villagers to work through the night. Soundlessly, they built a wooden wall around the enemy. Then the farmers took up their positions at various places with rocks and other simple weapons to attack the enemy.

When morning came, the enemy soldiers found that they were now prisoners. They ran to and fro, looking for some means of escape, while the villagers pelted them with stones. Seeing the situation, the Roman Emperor gathered his personal guards and launched his own attack on the enemy. When the enemy realised that they were being attacked on all sides and there was no way to cross the wall, they were compelled to surrender.

The name of this brave farmer was Cincinnatus. How authentic the story is, we do not know; but it is very entertaining and, at the same time, inspiring.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Amusement I enjoy, enlightenment I study, part 6, Agni Press, 1998
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