This is the story of the wise hermit who was invited to address the
village and impart wisdom to its occupants.
He laboriously made his way down the mountain and surveyed the
gathering, saying "Do you know what I am here to tell you about?"
The bewildered villagers answered with a ragged "Nooo."
His countenance clouded. "Fools!" he shouted, and went back up the
The villagers, feeling that they had perhaps missed the point, discussed
the matter and pursued him to his cave and inveigled him into returning
the next day.
When he again asked, "Do you know what I am here to tell you about?",
they were ready for him, and chorused "Yes!"
He said "Good!" and went home humming.
The villagers, still feeling that they were not getting good value for
their yearning, pursued once again. Prevailing upon his normally good
nature, they convinced him to return a final time.
As he surveyed the crowd for the third time, he saw the villagers
sitting up straight, their eyes shining with the triumph of students who
had learned a lesson well. When he posed his question, a spokesman for
the group stood and said with pride, "Some of us do, and some of us
With his own eyes glinting, the bearded one said "Then the ones that do
can tell the ones that don't," and went back up the mountain.