Shaggy Levity

This was submitted by Duke Hayes (1998). Thank you.

The king was at his wits end. The castle had just repelled the worst assault, yet, and the barbarians were in full retreat. All around there were boulders and parts of the ramparts littering the ground. They were not very aestetically pleasing and were just plain in the way. He put his best men to work on the cleanup project but it was taking forever, he needed a better way.

The king had heard of an eccentic old hermit living in the hills. He was, it was told, the keeper of a fabulous engine that might be of some help. The king was overjoyed and sent for the hermit straight away.

The next day, amid a great amount of termoil, the hermit and a team of oxen pulled a mighty machine up to the walls. It was a grand sight to behold. On the short end of the cross beam, supported by a tall mast, was a large scoop. At the other end was a long rope. The entire contraption was mounted on a flat bed on wheels, and the whole thing shown in the sun because of gold and siver inlays and mother of pearl accents. The hermit was constantly polishing, preening and fussing over his magnificent machine.

Finally, when he was ready, the hermit rolled the scoop up and under the nearest boulder. With obvious pride, he pulled on the rope lifting the weight and easily loaded it into a waiting wagon. The king, witnessing this event, noticed that the hermit was obviously proud of his contraption and approached the hermit to give him his appreciation. As he approached the hermit who was again shining and polishing, the king noticed the fine workmanship and obvious care that had been bestowed on the machine. The king asked the hermit why he had lavished so much time, money and effort into his machine. The hermit explained. “I had the idea for this machine many years ago and it has brought me great happiness and wealth. I felt it only right to share my prosperity with the device that had helped me earn it and I have learned many different ways to decorate it to show my appreciation. Over the years I have come to find out that there must be fifty ways to love your lever.”

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