30 January 2008

The grammarian and the dervish

This story was told by Jalaludin Rumi in the 13th century:

One dark night a dervish was passing a dry well when he heard a cry for help from below. 'What is the matter?' he called down.

'I am a grammarian, and I have unfortunately fallen, due to my ignorance of the path, into this deep well, in which I am all but immobilised,' responded the other.

'Hold, friend, and I'll fetch a ladder and rope,' said the dervish.

'One moment, please!' said the grammarian. 'Your grammar and diction are faulty; be good enough to amend them.'

'If that is so much more important than the essentials,' shouted the dervish, 'you had best stay where you are until I have learned to speak properly.'

And he went on his way.

Let those who can, see.

No comments:

visitors since 29 March 2004.