Dec 13, 2010

Posted by in Anti-Ignorance | 2 Comments

The Tale of the Man with the Black Spot

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Once there was a farmer who worked in his fields. He worked day after day, year after year, and every day when the sun was hottest in the sky, he would take off his shirt and work the rest of the day without it. And he would carry his shirt home on his arm.

One day, when this farmer came in from the field, his wife said to him, “Husband, there is a black spot on your back. Go to the doctor.” The man turned and turned, but he could not see his own back, and so he called his wife a liar, ate his dinner, and went to bed. In the morning, when he put on his shirt, his back itched and ached, and he cursed the shirt for being too rough.

Illustration by Elizabeth Jordan

The next day, when the farmer came in from the field, his sons saw him and said, “Father, now there are two black spots on your back. Go see a physician.” But since the farmer could not see his own back, he disbelieved them, ate his dinner, and went to bed. During the night he tossed and turned and could not get to sleep, for his back itched and ached. In the morning he cursed the sheets for being too rough.

On the third day, when the farmer came in from the field, three of his friends who had come to see him exclaimed, “Friend, your body is covered in black spots and boils!” Then the man saw his condition and grieved sore. But by then it was too late for him, and he died.

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Photo by dee E. Warenycia, Roseville, CA

Travis Lambert

Interests: Apologetics; Classical and Medieval Latin, Literature, and Philosophy; Epic Poetry; C.S. Lewis; chess; travel; writing (novel, short fiction, creative nonfiction, essay, Latin composition, translation).

  1. This was awesome. Also, the title reminded me of Treasure Island. If I remember right the first chapter is “The Black Spot”

  2. I love it. Simple and powerful.

    And yes, it makes me think of Treasure Island… Muppet Treasure Island. Billy Bones holding a sheet of paper in his trembling hands.


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