The young man and the cottage.

a parable.

A young man in the town of New Castle decided to settle down and build a cottage and hopefully find happiness. He saved his money and itemized what he needed. He resolved himself to visit the various suppliers in the town for his materials: thatch for the roof, stone for the exterior, wood for the walls, dowser for the well, and priest to bless the home when it was complete.

He went to the dowser first. He sat with the dowser and laid out his plan. The dowser had been responsible for the wells throughout the village, and was very capable, and offered to perform the service for free for the enterprising young man. The young man watched in horror as the dowser began to ply his trade. He was appalled at the blasphemous sorcery that seemed to guide the dowser’s rods. He insisted that he no longer needed the dowser’s services and decided to dig a well on his own. And so he did, at a great expense after trying in three different locations and being confounded by layers of thick rock.

He next visited the quarryman. The man was an old grotesque. The young man shuddered as the quarryman spoke, his face was scarred and pocked from rogue stones that scoured his face. His hands were rough and calloused, and he spoke in the vulgar accents of a man who worked his body to death.  The quarryman had offered stone for free, but the young man at the thought of seeing the old ugly quarryman again politely declined, and decided to use fieldstone instead. And so he collected fieldstone. It took him a long time to acquire the fieldstone he needed and he had built the exterior of his cottage.

He went to the carpenter to buy some wood for the walls and floors inside the cottage. The town carpenter was very skilled, and had some surplus wood that he would give to the young boy for free. The boy balked, realizing the carpenter was blind. He doubted that a blind carpenter could provide wood that was of any significant quality. And so he went it alone, felling trees near his home, cutting and sawing planks. It took him a very long time.

He went to the thatcher and attempted to buy straw for the roof of his home. The boy told the thatcher the size of his home and the slope of his roof. The thatcher was dimwitted and could not tell the young man how much thatch he would need, though he encouraged him to take as much as he wanted for free. The young man doubted that such a dimwitted lout could even cut the thatch correctly so he decided to go it alone and cut his own thatch from the fields where he had found the stone.

The house was complete, but before he would enjoy the fruit of his labor, the young man, now a few years older, with rough hands, and a stooped back, went to the local priest to see if he could have the house blessed. The priest upon hearing the account of how the house was built responded thus: “What god need bless a house built by pride alone? What god judges you that has judged all wanting?”

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