The Frethoni Book of Fables   
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Introduction. Fable No. 45, ca. 280 b.S. "The Challenge" is a fable that deals with a seemingly uneven competition between two men - the one being of extraordinary physical strength, who claims to be able to run, swim and climb as no other can, and his challenger, who obviously has no such qualities. Still the challenger is sure that he will win, as he has something his perfectly athletic opponent doesn't have...

ne day, a proud man named Aimos boasted that he could beat any man in a contest of physical strength. This contest included swimming across a raging river, running for 3 strals across rough and hilly wilderness, and finally climbing to the top of a valley that had recently suffered a rockslide, and was now full of jagged rocks. Aimos’s physical strength was well known, and none dared to challenge him in such a task. The challenge went unanswered, until one day…

A man named Sellus came and said “I’ll take your challenge, but first I want to walk along the course, so I know exactly the path I’m taking.” Aimos could hardly believe it. This Sellus was athletic, but he was not strong, like he himself was. But Aimos loved to show off, and he accepted the offer. Aimos walked with Sellus for the entire course. The river, the wilderness, and the valley.

“That is the course… As the challenger, you choose when we shall start.” Aimos could already taste the victory.

”Alright then, we’ll start in four days time.” Sellus was calm and collected.

Aimos went and started to train himself to be the best. Sellus did not do so. He instead took his first day and went to the river and studied it. He looked at the plants that grew alongside it, and he saw the current of the river. And for one full day, he just examined the river. The next day, Sellus examined the wilderness, looking at the trees, and the wildlife, and everything that could be seen. So for the second day, he just looked at the woods. The third day, Sellus investigated the valley, seeing all the rocks that had fallen into it, because of the rockslide.

For the fourth day, Sellus went to the town, and did nothing but stay in his room.

On the day of the challenge, both men set off. Aimos easily had the lead, swimming and running much faster than Sellus. Sellus went at a decent pace, but it was no match for the speed set by Aimos. In fact, when Aimos reached the valley, he stopped and waited for Sellus to emerge from the wilderness. “There is no way you can beat me. I am much faster than you, and I was even able to get a good rest too.” And off Aimos went to the valley, climbing and jumping from rock to rock. Sellus didn’t move. As Aimos seemed victorious, the rock he was holding gave way and moved from the wall, making him lose his grip. That rock held another rock, which held another, and soon another rockslide filled the valley. Aimos, with his remarkable strength, was able to survive, but he was badly wounded. Sellus walked over to him. “How did you know that I was going to start a rockslide?” Aimos asked.

“I took a day to study each of the three tasks, as you know. First, I looked at the river, and saw it was perfectly safe to swim in, so I swam through the river. The next day, I looked in the wilderness, and saw it was perfectly safe to run through, so I ran through the wilderness. But when I saw the valley, I could see that the rocks were not stable, and another rockslide would be caused with provocation. That’s why I didn’t climb the rocks. Remember, Aimos… Knowledge conquers all.”

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Parable written by by Eskon View Profile