Friday, April 2, 2010

An Old Irish Tale

Once upon a time, in the town of Kilkenny, there was a period of great prosperity. The merchants sold their wares as far away as Galway without any trouble with bandits along the highway. The farmers' crops and livestock were better than in any other town for miles around. The craftsmen drew the very best apprentices from the county and even from other counties, and the mayor was well respected.

At the height of this prosperity, Mother Superior of the local convent realized that her nuns could do more good by helping out convents in other towns, so one by one, she sent them to the surrounding villages and cities with instructions to care for the sick, protect the weak, and keep the faith.

At about the same time, the scion of the only Jewish family in town had just laid his parents to rest. His parents were very old, but they had both lived long and happy lives before passing away on the same night in their sleep. His neighbors, unaccustomed to Jewish traditions, had done all they could to learn how to honor the family by visiting him in his home next to the convent in his hours of mourning. Even with the loss of some beloved citizens, the mourning process brought the town even closer together. They even had a chance to admire the flowers that the old couple had grown in the back garden. In the spirit of neighborliness, Mother Superior showed off the flowers on her side of the fence. For years, there had been a friendly rivalry over who could breed the largest and most colorful flowers.

A few months later, there was a strange disease that wiped out many of the cash crops in the town. The sustenance crops were left alone, but local farmers feared that their period of great prosperity had come to an end. At the same time, a wolf pack killed off the breeding stock of the prize animals around town. A few weeks after that, several merchant wagons were robbed on their way to the market in Galway. When news of this reached the town, the citizens realized that they needed some way to bring prosperity back to the town.

The mayor called a town meeting. The farmers told everyone that they had no more crops to sell to other towns, nor any surplus livestock. The craftsmen's productivity was way down, because parents had called home their children out of fear that Kilkenny would be overcome by bandits or wolves. The merchants couldn't sell anything, what with there being nothing to sell.

Finally, Mother Superior caught her Jewish friend's eye. They both nodded, and within a few moments they came up with the solution. They would harvest the seeds from their beautiful flower gardens and allow the merchants to sell the seeds to wealthy nobles across the land. The townspeople applauded this act.

The needs of Kilkenny outweigh the seeds of the Jew. Or the nun.

1 comment:

M&M said...


I have the weirdest friends.