And the Many turned to the one man and said “Yes, fool, do not put others at risk with these questions. The Priest has told you – the new and terrible locusts HAVE A NEW NAME! Be silent in your foolishness and let the Priest tell us how we should prepare.”
And then they turned as one to the Priest and knelt before him and begged: “Oh wise one, tell us how we must prepare against the new and terrible locusts.”
So the Priest stood before them and said…
“I have spoken with great minds and with the gods, and they have told me the only way to prepare against the new and terrible locusts is to wear these hats of Monstrous Foolishness…”
…and he held a hat aloft of such exceeding monstrous foolishness that the Many were dismayed…
“Oh great one, how will the wearing of these hats of Monstrous Foolishness save us from the new and terrible locusts?” they cried.
“The great minds and the gods have studied the question and that is sufficient”, the Priest replied. “All those who have care for others will wear these hats and together we will save ourselves from the new and terrible locusts.”
The Many looked at one another and saw the wisdom of the Priest’s words, and willingly placed the hats of Monstrous Foolishness upon their heads and went back to tending their crops and their livestock, happy that they had been saved.
~ * ~
The next day the Priest came back to where the Many were tending their crops and livestock and wearing their hats of Monstrous Foolishness and said…
“Alas, I have spoken further with great minds and with the gods and they tell me the wearing of the hats of Monstrous Foolishness is not enough to save us from the new and terrible locusts. More is needed”.
The Many turned to the Priest in great alarm and cried, “oh wise one, tell us what we must do! to save us from the new and terrible locusts”
“It is this”, the Priest said, “to save us from the new and terrible locusts you must burn your crops to the ground before they can be eaten!”
“Thank you oh wise one!” the Many cried.
“Wait”, the one man of the Many said, “how will burning our crops to the ground before they can be eaten save them from the new and terrible locusts?”
“Foolish one,” the Priest answered, ” do you not understand the new and terrible locusts will pass us by if our crops are all gone?”
“But”, said the man, “you said to me that the new and terrible locusts will eat no more than the old locusts of years gone by.”
“That is true”, said the Priest.
“So, if we let the new and terrible locusts eat their fill and move on we will still have most of our crops as in years gone by, but if we burn them to the ground we will have none”.
The Priest sighed and the Many sighed also, following his example.
“Do you care nothing for those whose crops will be eaten if we do nothing?” the Priest asked in indignation.
“Do you care NOTHING for the crops that will be eaten?” echoed the Many, in great indignation for the callousness of the man.
And they went into their fields and burned all their crops to the ground so that a portion would not be eaten by the new and terrible locusts.
“But what will we do for bread,” asked the man, “now all our crops are burned to the ground?”
The Many looked troubled at this, for truly that question had not occurred to them. They turned to the Priest for answer.
“Sacrifices must be made, in times of need”, the Priest said.
“Yes”, the Many agreed, finding he spoke the very words they had in their own minds, “sacrifices must be made – and at least we are now safe from the new and terrible locusts!”
“I see the Priest has not burned HIS crops to the ground,” said the one man of the Many, “why is this?”
The Many turned to him at this and said “be silent, fool, enough of your nonsense, the Priest has spoken with great minds and with the gods and he knows best how to save us from the new and terrible locusts. All praise to our Priest and his wisdom.” ….