Sunday, 28 June 2009
After winning several archery contests, the young and rather boastful champion challenged a master who was renowned for his skill as an archer. The young man demonstrated remarkable technical proficiency when he hit a distant bull's eye on his first try, and then split that arrow with his second shot.
"There," he said to the old man, "see if you can match that!" Undisturbed, the master did not draw his bow, but rather motioned for the young archer to follow him up the mountain. Curious about the old fellow's intentions, the champion followed him high into the mountain until they reached a deep chasm spanned by a rather flimsy and shaky log. Calmly stepping out onto the middle of the unsteady and certainly perilous bridge, the old master picked a far away tree as a target, drew his bow, and fired a clean, direct hit.
"Now it is your turn," he said as he gracefully stepped back onto the safe ground. Staring with terror into the seemingly bottomless and beckoning abyss, the young man could not force himself to step out onto the log, no less shoot at a target. "You have much skill with your bow," the master said, sensing his challenger's predicament, "but you have little skill with the mind that lets loose the shot."
Saturday, 20 June 2009
A Useless Life
A farmer got so old that he couldn't work the fields anymore. So he would spend the day just sitting on the porch. His son, still working the farm, would look up from time to time and see his father sitting there. "He's of no use any more," the son thought to himself, "he doesn't do anything!"
One day the son got so frustrated by this, that he built a wood coffin, dragged it over to the porch, and told his father to get in. Without saying anything, the father climbed inside. After closing the lid, the son dragged the coffin to the edge of the farm where there was a high cliff. As he approached the drop, he heard a light tapping on the lid from inside the coffin.
He opened it up. Still lying there peacefully, the father looked up at his son. "I know you are going to throw me over the cliff, but before you do, may I suggest something?"
"What is it?" replied the son.
"Throw me over the cliff, if you like," said the father, "but save this good wood coffin... Your children might need to use it."
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
That's Not My Problem
A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package; what food might it contain? He was aghast to discover that it was a mouse trap!
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning, "There is a mouse trap in the house, there is a mouse trap in the house." The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell you this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me; I cannot be bothered by it."
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mouse trap in the house." "I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse," sympathized the pig, "but there is nothing I can do about it but pray; be assured that you are in my prayers."
The mouse turned to the cow, who replied, "Like wow, Mr. Mouse, a mouse trap; am I in grave danger, Duh?" So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected to face the farmer's mouse trap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mouse trap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught.
In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.
The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital. She returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.
His wife's sickness continued so that friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well, in fact, she died, and so many people came for her funeral the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide meat for all of them to eat.
So the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when the least of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
Saturday, 6 June 2009
Nicholas Crossan interviewed by Inishowen Community radio straight after finding out that he was voted in.
Lee Tedstone gets a congratulatory kiss from his mother as he finds out that he was voted in on the first count
The Stone and the Flower
"You have hardened", said the flower, bending her petals downward toward the half stone at her roots. "These rains should have softened you, made you more fertile and receptive to the seeds of the fields; but no. You have accumulated minerals and have become more silent and full of calcium. Why do you stay here? Why do you resist the brook that gives us water?"
The stone said nothing.
A number of clouds passed by, the sun set and the night arrived with an immense bronze-coloured freckled moon with acne scars upon her worn face and in this manner reflected down upon the silent stone which still had not fallen asleep. The flower, by now, had tucked-in her petals and slept profoundly, and at this time the stone began to answer:
"I stay here because your roots have made me yours. I stay here because it is no longer about my feeling the earth rather because I have become part of that which functions as a support of your stem which resists the wind and the rain. Everything changes, my sweet flower", said the stone, "but I stay here because love is that microscopic space between your feet and my salted skin. You would only be able to feel it if destiny were ever to separate the two of us."
The moon followed the fade of the stars. Dawn gave a yawn as the sun began to burn its horizon on the lower lip of the mouth of a new day. The flower awoke and extended her beautiful petals. "Good morning", she said, "I dreamt that you were singing to me. How foolish of me, don't you think?"
The stone said nothing.