PORT MORESBY - I want to share this little tale my grandfather told me when I was small.
When he was young, my grandfather had a champion hunting dog called Zikiam.
On one particular hunting expedition, the trees and vines bore plenty of wild fruit, berries and nuts and the forest floor was unusually busy.
There were cassowaries, wallabies, fowls, bandicoots, cuscus and birds of all kinds about feasting on the harvest.
Hunting dog Zikiam was spoiled for choice and immediately went into a frenzy.
He sprang to action and went after a cassowary. But the chase disturbed a bandicoot who took off in another direction.
Zikiam left the cassowary and went after the bandicoot. But then they ran into a fowl, who fled the other way.
Zikiam left the bandicoot and went for the fowl.
This became the order of the day. Zikiam running here and there, barking up and barking down, until he had no more fight left in the tank.
Dusk fell and it was time to call off the expedition.
The champion that was Zikiam returned home thoroughly battered, bruised and exhausted with no prize to show for the effort.
Thoroughly demoralised. Tail firmly tucked between hind legs; ear lobes drooped; tongue awkwardly poking out.
As a boy, I thought the story was amusing at the time. And of course cursed Zikiam for his stupidity and failure.
It was much later, in my teenage years, that I realised the moral of the story. It was a tale about distractions.
Beware of distractions. Some distractions are natural occurrences that can't be avoided.
But be even more aware of created distractions designed to cause confusion and frenzy only to end up chasing the wind.
Beware! The curse of the plenty is real.
The current debate on resources development in Papua New Guinea comes to mind.
Noken kamap Zikiam. Don’t be like Zikiam.