There was once a young man who desired wisdom. So he went to see the wisest man in his village and asked if the wise man would share his wisdom with him.
The wise man thought for a while, for he was very wise and never did anything without thinking about it first. Then the wise man said, “Yes, I will gladly share my wisdom with you, but first you must bring me something.”
The young man, very eager for a task he could do to repay the wise man for sharing his wisdom, asked, “What must I bring you?”
“The name of it has been forgotten.”
“Where can I find it?” The young man asked.
“That has been forgotten too. But I know it is very far from here.”
So the young man set out on his journey to find the thing, the name of which had been forgotten. He searched high and low, but as he did not know what he was looking for, he could not find it.
At last one day as he walked along a road he met an old woman. She asked him where he was going.
“I am seeking the thing for which the name has been forgotten, which is in the place which has been forgotten too.”
“Ah!” said the old woman. “I know this thing of which you speak. It is in a valley far from here.”
“What is the name of the valley?” The young man asked, overjoyed to at last know the place where he could find the thing for which the name had been forgotten.
“I am sorry,” the old woman shook her head. “It has been forgotten. But if you go into the next village, my sister may be able to help you.”
The young man continued on the road, and when he reached the village he found another old woman so like the first he could not tell them apart. He asked her where to find the thing for which the name had been forgotten which lay in the valley for which the name had been forgotten.
“Ah! I know the thing and the valley of which you speak!” The old woman said. “They lie underneath a mountain that is not far from here.”
“What is the name of the mountain,” the young man pleaded.
The old woman said nothing for a long time. Then at last she bowed her head. “It has been forgotten. But if you go into the next city, my brother may be able to tell you.”
So the young man went into the next city and sought out the brother of the sisters who had forgotten the name of the mountain the name of which has been forgotten and the valley the name of which has been forgotten wherein lay the thing the name of which had been forgotten.
“Ah!” The old man said. “I know this thing and this valley and this mountain of which you speak. They are all beside a sea.”
“What is the name of this sea?” begged the young man, nearly in tears.
The old man sighed. “It has been forgotten, but I know it is very close. Do not give up your search!”
And so the young man continued on his way, and before long he came to a sea. “This must be the sea for which the name has been forgotten!” he said. As he walked along the shore he came to a mountain. “This must be the mountain for which the name has been forgotten!” he said. He climbed the mountain, and on the far side he saw a valley. With great joy, he descended the mountain side, saying, “This must be the valley for which the name has been forgotten!”
And there, in the middle of the valley, was the magnificent thing, the thing for which the name had been forgotten. Simply gazing on that thing made the young man feel as if he was wiser already.
And so, having found the thing for which the name had been forgotten, which lay in the valley of which the name had been forgotten, under the mountain for which the name had been forgotten, beside the sea for which the name had been forgotten, the young man returned to his village.
He went to see the wise man of the village and told him of all his adventures.
“And so,” said the wise man when the story was finished, “You have brought me the thing for which the name has been forgotten?”
“Ah!” Cried the young man. “I forgot!”