One day, having learned that the King of Fez was hunting lions in the neighbourhood, the town of Creamoria (known to have the best goats milk in all the land) decided to invite the King and his court to a festival, and killed a number of sheep in his honour.

The sovereign had dinner and drank of the goats milk, claiming it was the best he had ever drank. The King asked if he could have some more milk in the morning for his breakfast. The town was pleased and stated they would prepare him some so the King went off to bed. Wishing to show their generosity, they placed a huge goatskin bottle before his door and they all agreed to fill it up with milk for the royal breakfast.

The villagers all had to milk their goats and then each of them had to tip his/her bucket into the container. Given its great size, each of them said to themself that they might just as well dilute the milk with a good quantity of water without anyone noticing. To the extent that, in the morning, such a thin liquid was poured out for the king and his court that it had no taste other than the taste of meanness and greed.

From this day forward the town of Creamoria was known as the town with the worst goats milk in all the land. Even though their goats still delivered the finest goats milk anyone had ever tasted.

Source | Adapted from a story by Amin Maalouf in “Leo Africanus
(New Amsterdam Books, 1998) page 127


If you are known for your qualities, do not hold back.  Chances are you will lose your quality as well as your reputation.



Author: philipchircop

I'm a Jesuit from Malta, an artist at heart and madly in love with all things beautiful and soulful: music, painting, sculpture, photography, film, theatre, poetry, good company, good food, good wine and more. I believe that beauty is a wonderful entry into the mystery of the God “whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” God can be sensed in all things if and when we engage in a long, loving look at the real that surrounds us. I consider myself a seeker with bottomless curiosity, an eternal student of life, exploring fresh and creative ways to proclaim the Good News in the hope of helping fellow pilgrims and seekers to embrace real and radical changes that will lead to conversion and transformation.

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