A Book Of Short Stories page 22
The Parson and the Clerk
There was once a parson who was such a tyrant that whenever he met anyone on the road he would cry out, "Out of my way!"
One day it happened that he met the king on the road and he did not recognize him. He called out as usual, "Out of my way!" But the king kept on and it was the parson who had to turn his horse.
"Come to see me tomorrow," called the king. "If you can not answer three questions I will ask you, you will lose your position as parson."
"Well," thought the parson, "all this is fine except I can't answer any questions. I'll get the clerk to go in my place."
The following morning he sent his clerk to the king. When the clerk appeared the king said, "Well, I see you're here."
"Yes, sire," answered the clerk.
"Tell me, said the king," how far is the east from the west?"
"Just a day's journey," replied the clerk.
"How is that?"
"Well, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and he makes the journey nicely in one day."
"Tell me how much do you think I am worth as I stand here before you?" asked the king.
"Our Lord was worth thirty pieces of silver," answered the clerk, "so I couldn't price you any higher than twenty-nine."
"Well done," exclaimed the king, "but can you tell me what I am thinking of now?"
"You're thinking the parson stands before you, but you are mistaken, sire, because I am only the clerk."
"Well then, go home abe be you parson and let him be clerk."
And so it ended.
School No. 32