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By Rutagengwa Claude Shema

Regional Coordinator

Great Lakes Peace Initiative (GLPN)


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     A young man went from stall to stall at a fair and found a stall where people were throwing rings at knives sticking out from the wall.  If the ring stuck on a knife, they got five times their money back, otherwise they lost it.  Many people tried, but few were able to make the rings stick, because the knives were long and flexible, and the rings rather small.  He tried a few times, but was not able to place a single ring on one of the knives.

     Then he noticed that the owner of the stall had a beautiful daughter.  He smiled at her, and she smiled back.  They exchanged a few words.  Every day, as long as the fair was in town, he came back to that stall to admire the beautiful daughter and to catch a short conversation with her.  When the day came that all the shops packed up and the fair moved on to another town, he took all his courage and asked the father for his daughter's hand. 

    The father looked at him and said, "You are too poor, you could not take good care of my daughter.  You cannot marry her." The young man looked sadly how the daughter and her parents packed their wagon, and moved on to the next town, and then another one, and would not return to his home town again for a full year.  But he made a plan. 

      He bought some knives and rings, and practiced every evening after work to throw rings at the knife blades, first from very close up, and gradually from farther and farther away.  At first he rarely succeeded in making a ring stick on a knife blade, but with practice, he became ever more skillful. 
After a year had gone by, he was a master. Finally, the time of the annual fair approached.  He counted the days.  On the first day that the fair opened, he went to the stall with the knives, greeted the daughter and her father, and bet three coins to throw three rings.  The daughter was worried that he might lose all his money.  Two rings missed, but the third one stuck, and he got five coins back.  He bet a larger sum to try again, and won again.  This went on, while the father stood there in disbelief and gradually had to hand over all his savings.  In the end he could not pay any more, and owed all his possessions to the young man.

      The young man said, "I do not want your money or your possessions, all I wish is to marry your daughter."  The father realized how devoted a husband he would be, and how happy it would make his daughter, finally agreed to let them marry.
There is a saying, "All is possible to patience and firm persistence."           




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