Title: Sport 21: Spring 1998

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, October 1998, Wellington

Part of: Sport

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Sport 21: Spring 1998

The Story of the Monster

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The Story of the Monster

A caravan of men and camels crossed a desert and reached a place where they expected to find water. Instead they found only a hole going deep into the earth. They lowered bucket after bucket into the hole, but the rope each time came back empty — no bucket and no water. They then began to lower men into the hole, but the men, too, disappeared off the end of the rope. Finally a wise man among the party volunteered to go down into the hole in search of water.

When the wise man reached the bottom of the hole, he found himself face to face with a horrible monster. The wise man thought to himself, ‘I can't hope to escape from this place, but I can at least remain aware of everything I am experiencing.’ The monster said to him, ‘I will let you go only if you answer my question.’ He answered, ‘Ask your question.’

The monster said, ‘Where is the best place to be?’

The wise man thought carefully to himself. Then he said to the monster, ‘The best place to be is wherever you feel at home — even if it's a hole in the ground.’

The monster said, ‘You are so wise that I will not only let you go, but I will also free the foolish men who came down before you. And I will release the water in this well.’