Monday, April 10, 2006
Which nobody can deny!
Bro. Simon announced at the break fast table that our nameless visitor had left a farewell letter, and to Bro. Simon's surprised, he found it nailed to the monastery front door. Of course several of the brothers raised their eyebrows upon hearing of a missive nailed to the front door, but Bro. Sedwick raised his hand to keep silent any premature speculations. At Bro. Sedwick's urging, Bro. Simon read from the letter, first, announcing that our "nameless" visitor was in fact, John Elksboy. He noted that the signature was printed: Brother John Elksboy (with "Brother" underlined twice). In the letter Bro. Elksboy thanked us all for the meal of ham and eggs and especially the mealtime discourse, and he noted that he recorded in his journal some of the words from that afternoon discourse. First, he said that the brother with the grizzly-grey beard (we think he means Bro. Bartleby) said, "Evil fears humor." That he recalls sparked a rather animated discussion among the brothers, but after thinking about these words, he confesses some truth to them. For in his travels, he recollects that among those who are most cheerful and with easy and hardy laughter, evil never seems to be present. These words he will remember, and in addition, he will continue to practice his own humor. Next, he recalls the brother with the patched robe (we think he means Bro. Juniper) said some words of great interest, they being, "Ham and eggs, which are you?" Bro. Elksboy said he was puzzled upon hearing those words, and could not speak an answer, but upon 'reading' the brother with the tiny chalkboard (we think he means Bro. Carl, who that day was silent), the words he remembers as, "Ham and eggs, which are you? But of course, if you produce the eggs, you are the chicken, the one who is somewhat involved in matters; whereas, if you produce the ham, you are the hog, the one who is fully committed to the matter. So, so to speak, we at the monastery are the hogs of life -- committed fully." Bro. Elksboy wrote that he too will be a hog of life, no more trepid involvement, but now will live with an enthusiastic commitment! With that, Bro. Simon refolded the letter and seated himself, but not before all the brothers broke into applause, with a rousing "For he's a jolly good fellow" dedicated to our formerly nameless visitor.