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Short Story: A stitch in time saves nine

BY: Junior Graphic

Roger was a messenger in a palace. He was an efficient servant and the king liked his services very much.

 So when it became necessary for the king to relay an urgent message to the commander of a battalion fighting against a neighbouring state to extend their authority, Roger was the one selected to deliver that message.

Before he set off, Roger checked all the things he would need for his journey. Unfortunately, he found out that both shoes of the horse he was about to use for the journey had a missing nail.

The royal farrier (a smith who makes shoes for horses in the palace) asked Roger to give him just five minutes to fasten the nails before he set off on his journey but Roger refused, saying it was very important he left at that time since the message was very important.

The royal farrier tried to convince Roger but he refused to listen. He told the royal farrier that he would fix it when he returned from his journey.

On the way, the second nail from the shoes also came off but Roger continued his journey. Eventually, all the nails slipped off and the shoes came off. This reduced the speed of the horse and it could not run as fast as it was supposed to. It was getting late and Roger was getting worried. He tried to make the horse move faster but it soon got tired.


The terrain Roger was travelling on was very rocky and rough, which caused the nails to remove. Without the shoes, the horse had to travel on its hooves, which became sore and painful.

After some minutes, the horse could not continue the journey anymore and fell on the ground unexpectedly, and Roger also fell as a result and was seriously injured. He became jittery because he was running out of time.

He looked at his map and realised he was not far from the battlefield but he could not send a signal out because he was afraid to catch the attention of their enemies.

He decided to go on foot although he was injured. He ran as fast as he could to get to the battlefield but when he arrived, their troops had already been defeated and most of the soldiers had died, while the others had surrendered to their enemies.

The information he was going to relay was the other side’s Achilles heel which would have helped defeat them in no time, but because of Roger’s procrastination they could not take advantage of their enemies’ weakness and it really cost them.

When there is a problem, it has to be fixed immediately before it gets out of hand. If Roger had fastened the nails on the horse’s shoes, he would have reached the battlefield on time to deliver the message so that they would not have been defeated.

 Laurinda Kyerewaa Kwaning,

Glory Kindercare Learning Complex,

Sunyani, Bono Region.