THE BLACKSMITH AND HIS APPRENTICE

A SANTHARIAN PARABLE

 
The Frethoni Book of Fables   
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Introduction. Fable No. 158, ca. 280 b.S. "The Blacksmith and his Apprentice" tells us about a young lad being apprenticed to a smith, eager to be allowed do the big tasks, just like the master himself. Yet, he still has his lesson to learn...
 

ne day, a smith was working in his forge, crafting tools out of iron, as he did most days. As most craftsmen did, the smith had an apprentice. He was an ambitious lad who wanted to forge remarkable things as soon as he could. The smith, who had learned the virtue of patience, stressed that he must first learn ironwork before his muscles would allow him to do it.

“Patience, young one,” he would often say. But the ambition of youth was too much for sage advice, and the blacksmith was often ignored.

One day, the lad’s ambition grew too much for him to contain, and late at night, using only candles and the forge for light, he started to craft a suit of armor. He had seen and committed to memory the design for basic armor plates. He wasn’t going to make something spectacular, just prove that he was beyond the small tutelage his master was giving him. He worked long and hard, and started to come out with the first of many plates. But as he was carrying it with his tongs, his grip faltered, and the glowing metal brushed against his leg, burning through his breeches easily and severely charring his leg. In pain, the apprentice dropped the metal, which clanged upon the floor, fortunately, away from anything flammable. He crawled over and poured large amounts of water upon his leg, bloody and burned. He was able to crawl away and seek help.

And afterwards, when the apprentice came back into the shop, the first thing he heard was the blacksmith’s voice, “The snail’s pace of teaching keeps you from stumbling and falling on the path of learning.”

Note: This fable is often changed in Ximax and Memnoor, going roughly along the line of a student stealing one of his teacher's texts in the night, and trying to work an awe-inspiring spell. Well, the following morning all that's left of him is a crater, and all that's left of his house is a scorched plank or two. The end. Moral: Wait, or someday all that's left of you might be a nasty smell...
 


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Parable written by by Eskon View Profile