A Parable from Ireland

Those ruins belonged to a wealthy man, not well-liked, in the 14th-century here in County Cork, Ireland. And the story goes, for there always is a possibly apocryphal story going, that the man had been called to court to answer a suit against him. Before getting into his carriage to head to the city, the man directed his servants, "If I am not back in five days, burn the house to the ground." See, he was thinking that if he lost at court, he'd rather turn his property to ashes than give it over to the court. 

Of course, he won the case. Of course, he went out to celebrate for days, as one did in the 1300s. Of course, he lost track of time. Of course, he rode back home in a hurry to see his stately manor in flames. Of course, no one who is told this story ever hears about what happened to the servants.  

What burned were the floors, the timbers, and his possessions. The stone would not burn. The frame remains, a hollowed-out shell, an unyielding reminder of how arrogance and ignorance can gut us. 

When we were wandering here, we hoped the real story was that the servants ransacked place and gleefully set it aflame.

Back Monday with regular rudeness.