The Lesson

by joetwo

The forge door opened and for a few seconds the cold wind fought with the hot air from the furnace. The blacksmith looked up, his eye catching errant snowflakes disintegrating in the heat of the fire as four figures in robes entered.

“Good morning Smith!” The old abbot called to the blacksmith “I trust your daughter is well. Are you working today?”

The blacksmith nodded respectfully. The monks from the monastery tended to go where they pleased but they were generous in lean times and the medicine within their walls was available to all comers, the abbot was free to do as he wished.

The three young novices looked around the forge. They were sons of wealth and at first derided how the abbot treated such places with reverence. Now they were silent, the abbot was pleased, they were learning.

He took a piece of iron and handed it to the novices “Here! Bend that.”

The novices were puzzled. “We can’t! It’s too strong!”

“Indeed it is.” The abbot said “But look here.” He took a horseshoe and moved it in his hand. “This is iron too, made useful. Watch Smith work.”

The blacksmith forced air through the glowing coals. There was a straight piece of iron in the flames and it was starting to glow. The abbot addressed his students again “See this, the heat is effecting the iron. Before like the iron you hold in your hand it was solid and inflexible.”

The blacksmith took the glowing metal from the coals and placed it on his anvil. Hammerblows rained down and the iron started to bend. “But now!” The abbot continued “The heat has made it melt. It can now be bent with a strong hand, into something more useful.”

“Like this iron.” He said “Life at the monastery, the hardships you must endure will melt your being and allow you to be melded into someone who can serve God, someone, something useful.”

He led them out. The lesson was over.

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Written for Trifecta week one hundred and seven.

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