There once was a great village wherein lay a great garden wherein grew great vegetables and fruits. Often, the villagers would harvest and store the fresh crops – the fruits were kept for the villagers, the vegetables for the livestock.
One day in this village, a little boy became exceedingly ill. The village Elders visited the boy and found that the child’s illness came from eating the fruits. Every fruit was tried by the child, and every fruit added to the young boy’s illness.
The boy wept, “I have tasted of every fruit in the garden, and they all are bitter in my stomach... but the vegetables smell good to me, and I feel they would succor me.”
The Elders were quick to respond, “It is not our nature to partake of the vegetables, such is the nature of the livestock. Our nature is to partake of the fruits.”
The boy pleaded, “Perhaps I do not understand natures, but I know the fruits go sour and rot in my belly, and I know I will starve without food; therefore, there must be a food wherewith I can survive. Again, the vegetables smell good to me – can I not eat of them?”
The Elders looked sorrowful, “We are deeply saddened by your disease, but we must not betray our natures, and from all we know, it is not natural of us to eat vegetable. It is unfortunate, but we fear you must endure in sickness, eating fruits, until we know more about your disease.”
So the boy ate the fruits, and though he did not starve, he was often sick and his physical stature greatly stunted. And despite the Elders’ best efforts, no further understanding was ever gained by them.
Years later, the young boy – now a meager young man – stood before the Elders one last time, “Again, I may not understand human nature... but I do now understand my needs and my rights as a man as I stand before you today. It is my right to be as happy and as healthy as you, and if this means I must eat of vegetable, then I will eat of vegetable...and if this means I must leave the village...I will leave the village.”
The Elders simply replied, “You will never be truly happy and healthy eating of vegetable...it is not your nature. Nevertheless, do as you will, but if you will, then you must leave the village; we can neither tolerate nor support your disregard of your nature.”
As the boy solemnly walked beyond the boundaries of the village, the Elders wept, “It is unfortunate.”
The Elders continued to weep for years to come...but the boy found great strength and health and happiness beyond the boundaries of the village in his own great garden of vegetables.