The Fool and the Abbot
It so happened that a Fool and an Abbot sat down to have a meal together. All went well, good food and lively conversation, until finally it was time for dessert. The server set two steaming pieces of apple pie on the table, one much larger than the other. The Fool immediately grabbed the larger piece and began to gleefully gobble it up. The Abbot was horrified!
“How can you be so rude!” he exclaimed. “Where are your manners, where is your sense of fairness, morality, generosity, kindness, respect?”
The Fool was caught quite by surprise. Putting down his fork, he slowly thought about what the Abbot had said. After a moment he began to understand the Abbot’s point.
“Do you mean to say that if I hadn't gone first, you would have taken the smaller piece?” he asked incredulously.
“Well, of course I would have” stated the Abbot emphatically. “I have respect for others, and a generous and kind nature which is the result of many years of meditation and hard work.”
The Fool took another moment to take in what the wise Abbot had told him, and then looked down at the table where the two half-eaten pieces of pie now sat. A broad smile came over his face as he took in the whole situation.
“Well”, he said, “It looks like we’re in luck; it turns out that we both got exactly what we wanted!”
Illustration 19th century engraving of Will Somers, King Henry VIII's jester