One day, after the men had left to hunt, the son sat and scratched his head. If he could learn to run faster, his father would not deny him. All he needed, then, was a teacher. He looked around and saw a gazelle. He said to himself, “A gazelle runs effortlessly and surely faster than any man. He will be my teacher.” So the son followed the gazelle, got on all fours, and learned his ways.
When the father returned, his son bounded up to him. “See, Father?” he asked. “None of the other children can catch me, I am so fast. May I join the hunt now?”
The father pointed to the gazelle they had killed and brought back. “My son, you must learn to run better than that, for we hunt the gazelle.” The son was disheartened and looked for a new teacher.
When the hunters left again, the son set out to learn to run like a predator instead of prey. He finally decided on the cheetah. He crouched low and when the cheetah chased his dinner, the son would spread his arms in front likewise. His father eventually came home, and when the son ran to greet him, he could barely stop his momentum.
“My son, you have become very fast,” the father laughed. He then pointed to a cheetah pelt over his shoulder. “But we must also outrun the cheetah. Don’t worry. You will come with us when you are ready.”
The son was at a loss. How he could possibly run better than a cheetah? The question kept him up at night, and one night, when most of the men were gone from camp, the he noticed a pair of eyes in the darkness. Thinking that the eyes were set on him, and not wanting to endanger his mother by calling for her help, he slipped away from camp and led the owner of the eyes away.
At first the son walked carefully, but he noticed the eyes gradually gained distance on him. He started to bound like the gazelle, and it seemed the owner of the eyes did as well, but just slightly faster. The son utilized the speed he learned from the cheetah and finally put great distance between him and his pursuer. When he grew tired and slowed down, he saw the eyes again and became afraid. No matter how many times he could muster his cheetah speed, he could not completely lose his pursuer. Finally, after being chased the entire night, the son crawled back into camp, lacking the breath to call for help.
His mother came out from their shelter with a smile on her face. She called out his father’s name in warm welcome. The son collapsed into the dirt, knowing his father would save him. The son felt a strong hand on his back, and when he was turned over, he realized the one pursuing him was his father.
“My son, you now know what it means to run like a man.”