From the Tale of Two Brothers
Illustration by Benny
book through: http://www.lulu.com/content/2146827
The Tale of Two Brothers is published by bennymkje and available through http://www.lulu.com/content/2146827/
This story is the first in the series of Thousand and One Night and freely adapted from Sir. Richard F. Burton’s version. Benny Thomas has provided some 30 and odd illustrations in watercolour and pen and ink. Those who wish to acquire the originals (mostly in 6″x8″ size) they may inquire.
The last time I Saw PIE-in-the- Skye:
Monk Anselmo one day was telling his pupils of some personages from antiquity. The story made such impact on me and I shall merely quote him from memory.
Etruscans, or some other tribe I cannot exactly remember which, before Rome became a republic had something of a reputation. It was simply in this: the people were amenable to rule. A series of kings who belonged to a family of brigands had ruled them and before the last king was deposed the tribe had learned to rob. And rob well they did. Then they tried rule of the law. It also seemed to work for a while and then it became somewhat similar to the way democracies work at present. “ We must work with consensus.” So they presented their case before public assembly and put to vote. Before the aristocrats wanted to grab public lands all they did was bribe the good for nothing citizens who never stopped stealing from each other or doing some mischief in order to feather their own nest. They took the money and said their support was theirs. The party of Aristocrats prospered and they elected one as the king by popular vote. They soon passed a law making his blood line as hereditary kings.
Thus King Pennypincher ruled the tribe but before he could father a son to pass on his throne he was out hunting. His horse tripped on a loose pebble and fell headlong into a ravine. Pennypincher broke his skull and died.
Monk Anselmo said, “Of what is a pebble?”
“God’s instrument, of course!” I couldn’t help telling him. The monk looked at me questioningly and I said,” Oh holy monk I suffer from kidney stones. I die daily. God put it there to chastise me.”
Monk Anselmo later asked me if I believed in hell. I was emphatic. “ No! How can there be a worse hell than this?”
On recalling it I must say we suffer only as human beings, and as we are part of a material world, a grit has its purpose as any blade of grass. It doesn’t matter whose purpose it serves as much as I suffer or benefit from it.
One homeless person to another: “I thought of turning a new leaf; but the winter set in early.”
The other: “I was so low on the job market. so I took a couple of degrees. But now I am overqualified for the jobs available”.
At a Hallow’n party
one in the costume of Headless Horseman, “I am not sticking my neck out for any one.”
His companion in a Dracula dress: ” Ichabod, you lost your head and I my dentures. We will take off from there during the party. Remember we are here for a good time.”
*In case a piece of a bone gets stuck in your throat, don’ t panic: get your dog to fetch it. Invariably he does it.
If more than three or four bones have become stuck, it is pretty serious. Lie down quietly for help to arrive.
(To the next of kin: Phone for your undertaker. He shall know what to do with a bag of bones.)
*If you are in the habit of rubbing hands in glee it can often leave an unpleasant impression on others. Here is a cure: wring hands in counter clockwise for a week. Or try this: If you find one with the name Roth you wax him forthwith and see how it develops (caution: may prove at times rather inconvenient. I tried this on one Philip Roth and I heard Portnoy complaining on his behalf. I could only reply: Jerk off.)
*I have a book full of such simple remedies.
All the entries are by courtesy of my grandma who lived till 103.
Her secret? A plateful of spinach for lunch, she said. Even when died she kept her good eye open. For those who are exacting her last word was ‘popeye.’
Did she mean the sailor or her good eye blinking open? I can’ t say. After these 20 years I am still mystified. Any remedy for mystification, which is a chronic case? If any of my readers have one let me know. I shall add it to my list. What shall I do with it in the end? Blimey! I am mystified.
How We Make A Mess Of The Message ©
Monk Anselmo once received a monk of exceptional parts and he spoke eight languages and had translated the Holy Writ in each. I was present the time he explained to the yokels of The Pie-In-the Skye the manner God had blessed him. He was sure it was to spread the word of God to people of all tongues all over the earth.
After all the excitement died he said with a very woebegone expression that it set off a bitter feud among nations as to the day when the Lord God rested from his labor. ‘Eight times I have been burnt in effigy’ said the visiting scholar monk, ‘and it makes me sad.’
After a week he asked Monk Anselmo pointing to me and Master Crapper, “This two have been idling for a week.” The venerable monk asked his host, “Are they sick or something?”
Monk Anselmo called me and asked me to answer the monk. I explained.
“ We got the Holy Writ by all accounts on Sunday. The day our Good Lord rested after creation. On Sunday, the Lord enjoins us to take rest. So we refuse to work as matter of principle.”
“One cycle of cosmos is one day in Lord’s calender,” added Master Crapper, “Come next cycle we shall work our butts off.”
We, if endowed with some sense shall use our heads according to our best knowledge and abilities. So don’t go on trying to drive some sense into me how to think or make meaning out of what I see as crystal clear. Tomorrow perhaps I may find out something else and change my opinion I hold today. In other words teaching a dog old or young what you think as new tricks is quite useless.
I met a rich wise man. He said he didn’t know if he were wise or not. But he knew he was certainly rich. He had much to show me around by way of his wealth. Then I met a poor wise man. He knew he had to be wise since he was not rich. All that he made up for his lack he displayed in our conversation and it was more of a monologue, I should say.
Much later I met a wise man sitting on a mat out in the open enjoying the setting Sun.
“Are you happy sir?” I asked him. He took time from his contemplation and said, “ I never got around to ask myself that.” He adjusted himself to face me and said, “ Now that you asked me let me tell you, sir, you make me happy.”
I spent a happy hour or two in his company and during which we would have hardly exchanged ten words. I knew I was a happy man.