A father and his son, travelling together in a wagon, came to the edge of a forest.
Some bushes, thick with berries caught the child’s eye.
“Father,” he asked, “may we stop awhile so that I can pick some berries?”
The father was anxious to complete his journey, but he did not have it in his heart to refuse the boy’s request. The wagon came to a halt, and the son alighted to pick the berries.
After a while, the father wanted to continue on his way. But his son had become so engrossed in berry-picking that he could not bring himself to leave the forest.
“Son!” cried the father, “we cannot stay here all day! We must continue on our journey!”Even his father’s pleas were not enough to lure the boy away.
What could the father do? Surely he loved his son no less for acting so childishly. He would not think of leaving him behind—but he really did have to get going on his journey.
Finally, he called out, “you may pick your berries for a while longer, but be sure that you are still able to find me, for I shall start moving slowly along the road. As you work, call out “Father! Father!’ every few minutes, and I shall answer you. As long as you can hear my voice, know that I am still nearby. But as soon as you can no longer hear my answer, know that you are lost, and run with all your strength to find me!”