Again, the wordsmith Luke Davis graces us with another of his posts. I leave you now with “The Craftsman and His Apprentice.”
As an apprentice Jim was given the job of making bread boards, knife blocks and other simple household knickknacks. The complicated work of course was done by Simon who did the chairs and cabinets and other ornate work. Every Saturday on market day, Jim’s work would be put outside for sale while the ornate work was reserved for inside. Every week nearly all of Jim’s goods would sell while only very rarely did Simon’s, but when they did they sold for quite a large sum of money. This bothered Jim a little.
Firstly, he always worried about his work, he was only a new apprentice and his products lacked the finesse that Simon could have done. Every Saturday he fretted over every flaw that people might see in his goods and resolved to do a better job next week. Secondly, he wondered why Simon put the worst goods, Jim’s, out on display where everyone could see while he hid his finest quality work inside the shop. Surely Simon would make a greater profit with his best material forward.
So one day Jim asked Simon about his worries, why did Simon do things this way? Of course Simon answered. “I have my finest work on display, every week my customers walk by and they can see what sort of man I am crafting. If I couldn’t craft a man I would merely be a carpenter and of no use in this town. Furniture they can buy in yonder city, but only men like me can take a boy like you and turn him into a man. So when I judge you ready, a craftsman you shall be, and together we will craft more men. Parents will seek us out hoping to place their sons at our door because every week for longest of times they have seen my finest work.”