The Monks and their Abbots

An abbot gave the monks three meals daily.
"We need more food," they grumbled. "Let God take him soon!"
That abbot died.
The next abbot gave them only two meals.
"He deprives us of food; let God deprive him of life."
That abbot died.
The next abbot gave them only one meal.
"Before hunger shortens our lives, let God shorten his life."
But one monk said, "God grant him long life!"
Surprised, the others asked, "Why?"
"The first was bad," the monk explained, "the second worse, and the third worst of all. The next might deprive us of food entirely."


Inspired byMille Fabulae et Una, a collection of Latin fables that I've edited, free to read online. I am not translating the Latin here; instead, I am just telling a 100-word version of the fable.
Notes: This is fable 895 in the book. The story is not in Perry's catalog; it comes from Odo of Cheriton's fables.


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