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The Fable of Two Men and a Barrier

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.


Two men heading for the same destination journeyed down a road. All was well, until they came before a massive barrier in the middle of road. The two knew they’d have to find a way around it; however, they were not sure what they were going to do.

One man peered in both directions. He realized that the barrier was long and may have stretched more than a mile on each side. The other man looked up. The shortest distance would be to go over it. Yet, the barrier was straight and vertical with no real way to climb up over it. Still, the barrier was only thirty feet tall.

The first man to investigate the barrier also glanced at the height of it. The second man who first observed the height now investigated the wall’s never-ending width which stretched far, far away on both ends.


The two pondered their situation.

“I think I know what to do,” the first man said. “I’m going to head down one way and see if I can find a way around this.”

“You do that,” the second man answered. “I’ll see about going around the other side.”

Thus, the two departed. The first man headed down one side and the other went the opposite end. The first man knew he was going to be in it for the long haul; however, he kept thinking about his destination. It there, he thought. But, he’d have to be patient and find a way onto the other side, no matter how long it took. So, he kept walking and walking, his hopes high that he’d find a way through.

The second man hurried down the other side. He ran and ran until he was out of breath and out of luck. He couldn’t find the end in sight. However he saw some rocks near the barrier. But, he surmised that it was of no use to him.

He stopped after his legs couldn’t take him much farther. Disappointed, he made an attempt to climb the wall. It was a foolish act for there was nothing there for him to grab onto in order to climb. He gave up and realized that the job was too difficult. He wanted to reach his destination, but he realized that he came to the end of the road.

There will be no reward at the end of this one, except the realization that he hadn’t reached his destination. With that in mind, he headed back to the road and started his journey home.

Was he going to quit? Climb back down and head for the road and dismiss this journey as a fool’s job?

The first man, however, still kept going. Days, even weeks, passed him by. Yet, one morning, after breakfast he strolled a few yards and discovered something: A pile of rocks piled to the near top of the barrier. He rushed to this pile and climbed it. There he reached the top, only to discover that he faced a huge drop on the other side. He wondered what he was going to do.

Was he going to quit? Climb back down and head for the road and dismiss this journey as a fool’s job? No! He came this far. He wasn’t going to give up. Thus, he continued his journey on top of the barrier. He traveled several miles on top, until opportunity showed its pretty face. There, he saw the branch of a tree. He reached it, climbed onto it and slid down the rest of the way to the bottom on the other side.

He lost many days on this journey. Yet, he was elated, for he knew that the destiny at the end of his journey was waiting there for him. It would take a while to reach the road he was on. But, after the obstacle he just faced was behind him, that journey just got a little easier. Thus, he went off on his merry way to the road again, and off to his destiny.

the Reward

the Reward

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© 2012 Dean Traylor

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