The Gardener
 
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1. And behold, he spake unto them a parable saying: There lived in the land a man who lived in a house surrounded by greensward. Although he was advanced in years he tended his lawns with care and in clement weather sat out thereon upon a bench, admiring the view of distant hills.

2. And behold, there came a day when the man, who was becoming feeble with age, said to himself, ‘behold, I am become feeble with age and am no longer able to tend my greensward as was my wont in days of yore. What shall I do that the appearance of my greensward may be preserved and that I become not the scorn of my neighbours?’

3. And he said unto himself, “I know what I will do, I will make parley with one of my neighbours who is a gardening contractor and has tools and equipment of adequate capacity. I will make a bargain with him whereby he will from time to time mow my greensward and I will pay him what is just and according to arrangements made between us. I shall not then become a scorn of my neighbours but retain my view of distant hills.’

4. So the man went to visit his neighbour who was a gardening contractor and made a bargain with him that the neighbour would cut his grass as and when it required such attention, in return for which the man would pay his neighbour the sum of ten denarii each time the grass was cut.

5. The arrangement worked well for several years. There came a time, however, when one day, after the grass had been cut, the man went to the gardening contractor and said unto him, “Behold, thou hast cut my grass for these past years and each time thou hast cut it I have paid thee the sum of ten denarii. Nevertheless the time has come for me to reduce this emolument by forty per-cent to the sum of six denarii only. Lo here is thy six denarii, take it and be thankful.”

6. And he said unto his disciples, “What thinkest thou that the gardening contractor will say to the good man of the house?” His disciples said unto him, “he would say unto him ‘*******!!!!!***** etc. etc.’

7. He said unto them, “Ye have spoken well. So shall it be said of the Diocese which cuts its servants’ expense rate by 40 per-cent after service has been given and without prior notice. It shall become the scorn of men and an outcast of the people. And he said unto them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

W.J.G. Written on July 17th. 2002

© The Estate of William John Green, 2004