Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Parable: The Serpent and the Server

There was once a young handmaiden who went down to the river to wash her clothes, where she found a poisonous snake drowning. “Please,” begged the snake, “please save me, I can not swim.”
Do you think me stupid?” the maiden replied. “If I take you out of the water, you will be sure to bite me.”
No,” the snake pleaded, “You have my word I will not. Please, I beg of you, save me and I promise I will not bite you.”
The handmaiden relented and lifted the snake up out onto the banks of the river. After a few minutes, when the snake had recovered his breath, he promptly bit the handmaiden on the ankle and started to slither away.
You said you would not bite me!” gasped the handmaiden, as she lay dying.
I am a snake,” he replied. “What did you think I was going to do?”

There was once a young server who was waiting on a couple out for a date at the beginning of the dinner rush. The meal went splendidly and the couple thanked the server profusely for his wonderful service, and promised that when they returned they would ask for him again. The couple lingered over coffee and desert and the server thought nothing of it. However, the couple continued to linger long after the last cup of coffee had been drunk. As the server approached to refill their coffee once more, the guests replied that they knew they were overstaying their welcome, but that the server would be taken care of. And so the night passed; table after table was turned during the dinner rush, and still they remained. They stayed throughout the night, and were one of the very last tables in the restaurant to leave. As the server looked over his meager sales receipts, reduced severely by the loss of the table, he went to retrieve the check presenter to see what had been left him: it was $16 on $75. The server, emboldened, ran to catch up with the departing guests and asked how they could be so clueless as to think that $16 made up for the lost table the entire night. The guests paused for a moment to think about the question and replied, “We are guests. What did you think we were going to do?”

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