The Farmer and the Missionary (frag. 1)

Submitted by Ken Watts on Tue, 04/15/2008 - 14:36

O is named for the common first letter in of each of her (or, possibly, his) contributions to The Book. She tends toward a sort of forced folksiness, which seems to be quite intentional, though it is unclear what purpose it serves.

Edward Threeblossom
CEO, Brunswick University

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a farmer who lived in a strange land.

The land was strange because the people who lived there had no religion, and no science.

They got by entirely on common sense.

One day, the farmer was mending a fence in his front yard when a stranger came walking down the road.

The farmer nodded, and the stranger stopped.

"Good morning, Sir. Does this fine farm belong to you?"

"Aye. It does. What can I do for you?"

"The question, Sir, is what I can do for you."

"And what would that be?"

"I have come to share with you The Secret which lies at the heart of the world."

"I see. And how much would this secret be costing me?"

"Oh, it's quite free."

"You won't be asking me for any money, then?"

"Well, after I've told you the secret, you may want to give me a bit—just to help me spread the word to others."

"I doubt it. But I can see I won't be rid of you until you've told me."

"This world," the Stranger said, "everything you see here, was created by Thor."

"And who might this 'Thor' be?"

"He's the creator of the world."

"Around here, lad, we call that kind of reasonin' a bit circular."

"Look, Thor made all this—the earth, the sky, the trees, the sun, the moon, the stars..."

"Did ye see him do it?"

"Of course not, this was long ago—long before I was born. Besides he is not visible to the human eye."

"Then how do ye know he exists?"

"In the city I come from it is common knowledge. No one doubts it there."

"Ah, so what you're telling me is that you just took someone's word for it."

"In the city, we have great scholars, who have spent their life studying such things."

"Be that as it may. In the country we require evidence before we accept such extravagant claims."

"Oh, our scholars have concocted great arguments to prove Thor's existence."

"Have they now? How strange."

"Strange?"

"If, as you say, no one in your city doubts this 'Thor' exists, then why would they be running around concocting great arguments to prove it? It sounds as though they might doubt it themselves."

The stranger decided to change the topic.

"Is that your cow, in the pasture over there?"