A man and his wife were lost in the forest when they came upon a clearing. Before them was three different paths. Neither was sure of which path to choose.
Suddenly a wise old owl appeared, so the man asked him which path they should take. The owl told him that one path led to Greatness. One path led to Greatness And Happiness. And the third path led to The Unknown.
Each path had pitfalls and dangers, and they would have to be very careful, the owl warned the couple. He advised the man to keep his wife close to him so they could watch out for one another.
The husband and wife chose the path that led to Greatness And Happiness. Before setting out, the man told his wife to wait in the forest until he returned. He didn’t want her to face the pitfalls and dangers.
He thought it was best to first go alone, and then come back for his wife. She disagreed, and reminded him that the owl told them to stay together.
He thought he knew best, however, and refused to change his mind. His wife had a terrible feeling that his decision was foolish, but she obeyed him and stayed behind.
She was concerned about surviving alone in the forest and feared for her safety. The man ignored her concerns. His wife was a strong woman, and he believed she would be safer in the forest.
He only wanted to prevent her from facing the dangers and pitfalls that lie ahead. He was confident he was making the right choice.
Once he set out alone, the husband came across many obstacles. Although he managed to overcome them, he realized the owl had been correct. He needed his wife by his side.
Meanwhile, she was without food or shelter, and faced her own obstacles, just to survive. Time passed, and she grew weak.
She knew her husband would be back for her. So the wife continued to pray for her own safety and that of her husband. And she waited.
The husband knew he’d made a foolish decision when he realized he’d taken a wrong turn. He was no longer on the path to Greatness And Happiness. Somehow, he’d ended up on the path to The Unknown.
He decided to go back into the forest for his wife. They would start over together. Once he made the decision, he hurried as fast as possible. He knew his wife would be there waiting for him, and he was desperate to see her again.
Upon arriving at the clearing in the forest, he saw her. She was lying under a tree with her eyes closed, looking as beautiful as ever. His heart soared with love as he ran to her.
He was thrilled to be reunited with his wife, and promised himself he’d never leave her again. He thought she must have been sleeping deeply because she didn’t open her eyes.
He grabbed her in his arms and began to shake her. He sobbed loudly when he realized she wasn’t sleeping. She didn’t open her eyes because she couldn’t.
He was too late. His beautiful wife, the love of his life, was gone. She would never again open her eyes.
Now the man understood something he hadn’t known before. Without his wife, nothing else mattered. He could make his way back to the Path To Greatness.
But without love, he would never find his way to Happiness.