Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tales of the Disciple #1: The meaning of mad horse neighing

The scene reveals itself to the gentle strains of an oriental tune played on a flute. We see a hefty, balding disciple swathed in puke-green robes sitting before a formidable, lean and handsome though old man in a simple brown robe. They are both seated on a flat ground that overlooks a clear still lake. Our young disciple has bad skin, worse breath and his hair is already graying prematurely at the edges, threatening to launch a full scale invasion on what little was left on his head. It would be a quick battle. Both victor and vanquished decided before the first white strand advanced. They are both sitting on their feet opposite from each other, the older man straight backed, the younger hunched over.

‘Speak,’ invited the old man in a firm deep voice.

‘Master, I have need of advice in a hurry,’ squeaked the disciple in reverence so profound he almost stammered as he spoke.

‘Then ask your question.’

‘Master, a wench has made disparaging remarks about me to people who know of me. I feel angry because what she says is untrue. Her tongue knows only of curling around words that speak untruth. The Eternal Presence bestow mercy on me, Master! My heart, that swells and heaves at the grating of her utterances and at the audacity of that wench, has persuaded the knuckles on my right hand that it should meet with her full plump cheek with a considerable amount of force. For she, has irked a great many people too,’ blurted the disciple in a hail of spit that strangely found no target on his master.

‘Calm down, young, though overweight, grasshopper,’ said the old man amusingly. ‘It is common for youth to think first with their fists and privies then their heart and head. Let me ask you some questions so that you may better deal with her. First, what is her reputation amongst the village?’

‘It used to be formidable, but she has been seen soiling herself right in the village square. In the village square, Master!’

‘Do right thinking, though sexy women worthy of the finest specimens of the male sex, do this unto themselves?’

‘Nay, Master. Nay. So she may not be right thinking.’

‘Do not conclude too hastily, young, though hefty, sparrow. Be her body still be of childbearing worthiness?’

‘Perhaps! There is rumour amongst some of the elders that she be no longer able to, or if she doth, she doth tho against the guidance of Nature.’

‘Do not discount senility then! Even the most beautiful minds and graceful bodies crumble under the bludgeoning of time’s ticking tock.’

‘Now, what she says of you, be it true?’

‘Nay, Master,’ protested the disciple angrily. 'I am willing to swear this on my only pair of undergarments, Master!'

‘There is no need for that. I hope thou doth wash it often! Do others know that what she says to be untrue?’

‘Yes, Master. They too rankle at her vicious wench-like lies. Occasionally they pelt her with rotten tomatoes.’

‘So if most of thy village doth know of her actions, reputation and her untruths, then why should your heart beat quicker at the mention of her name or upon hearing her words? All who matter know them to be worthless.'

‘The anger! I feel that anger rattling within me, Master!’

‘Hush, tubby one! Calm yourself. Think peaceful and holy thoughts. Think of love for the Eternal Presence. Remember His resonance and look for it within your soul. And for the sake of all that is good, lay off the fast food establishments. Art thou calm now?’

‘Kinda.’ The disciple managed to stifle a burp.

‘Good enough. Now think this thought the next time the sound of her voice doth reach your ear. Think what she says as no different from the senseless neighing of a mad horse. What then does it become for us?’

‘Uh. Horse… dung?’ A wind from within escaped the disciple and now he grew fearful that his Master would discover it.

‘Ah, most rounded one, thou art nearly correct. That thy first choice picketh the orifice from the rear instead of one on the head, does make me suspect how well you have learned your lessons! Her voice doth becomes noise; worthless noise; noise that would benefit no one from listening; noise that is senseless, not imbued with the grace of the Eternal Presence. Do you listen to this noise?’

‘No, Master.’

‘You have learned your lesson for today.’

‘Thank you, exalted Master.’

A graceful silence descends upon both Master and disciple. The scene fades slowly into black accompanied again by the oriental music still played by the flute which seems to itch to throw in some funky wicked lines to liven up the monotonous melody. Just before the final fade, a loud trombone stabs the darkness.

‘Young, though of great weight, cricket?’ called out the Master in the darkness.

‘Yes, Master?’

‘Do not ever do that again!’

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