Satire Column: Peasant Concerns

By Anonymous

In a certain kingdom, in a certain valley, a small settlement atop a hill, Steubenvillage, was alive with people of all manner, one of whom is of particular interest to our tale: Francis Underhill. 

Francis was an ambitious young man, full of ideas for the betterment of his community and ready to put them to practice. To that end, he decided to take up the leadership of a village guild. But which one to choose? 

There were many choices: The Board Game Guild, The Fencing Guild, The Swing Dance Guild, The Chess Guild and so many more. One stood out to him above all the rest, though. 

Like a lighthouse to a lost sailor, or a Festival of Praise to a young charismatic, something about The Aquinas Society drew him to it. 

Perhaps it was in the name. Perhaps it was the promise of adventure. 

Or perhaps it was the fact that there were only three active members – two of whom would be leaving at the Spring’s end and a third who had no desire to be the guild’s new president. It was a chance for Francis, member of Disciples of God, to show his quality. 

Now, Francis wanted to secure some money for his new guild, but all of the town’s guilds were managed by the local Peasant Government, or, as all those who were not members called it, Peasant Gov. He would need to make an appeal to them to secure his funds. 

To a young newcomer like Francis, Peasant Gov. was rather intimidating, as they all wore their best livery, complete with decadent robes and gold badges of office. 

He knew that such apparel could only denote an individual of the highest importance and prestige. Clearly, these officers were not to be taken lightly. 

Francis knew he must get funding, though, so he drafted a bill. The bill requested shillings enough for a few manuscripts of Fr. Thomas Aquinas OP’s work and a few pizzas. 

Francis thought this would be a good budget to get started. 

To pass his bill, he had to present it at one of the Peasant Gov. meetings. Then, he had to come to another meeting a few days later for them to confirm the amount he was requesting and clear up any questions about the bill. 

Next, Francis had to return the next week in formal attire to repeat the process of last week’s meeting. Finally, he had to attend a fourth meeting in formal attire where the Peasant Gov. would decide his bill’s fate. 

In the end, Peasant Gov., On the grounds of low guild attendance, refused the bill. However, determined not to fail in his endeavor, Francis began recruiting earnestly. 

After weeks of successful club activities, Francis had not only gathered a sizable guild, but he had also gathered great renown. The guild received much praise from the village steward, and even the lord of the region extended his praises, calling it, “a great place for young Catholics to learn about a great writer. Perhaps, one day, a saint.” 

When Francis saw the prestige his guild had acquired, he thought that surely the Peasant Gov. would have to give him funding now, so he drafted a new bill. When he went to present it, he found that they had been deliberating their business over a steak dinner. 

Quite fitting for these eminent officials. They must be fed, after all. 

A few days later, he returned to confirm his requested amount, and he found Peasant Gov. enjoying the musical stylings of a renowned harpist. This was only natural, as one must have good music to focus on such important work. 

Francis returned once more for the formal meeting, and he passed a famous motivational speaker leaving the room as he entered. Of course, individuals with such great purpose must remain motivated more than the common folk. 

Francis arrived at the last meeting that would be needed for his bill to pass. He felt sure it would, given his guild’s great success. 

Francis sat through the proceedings patiently, listening to the other bills being presented.  

The Fencing Guild requested 50 shillings to replace old protective equipment, as it had been falling apart for some time now. Peasant Gov. gave them 25. 

Peasants for Life was next, requesting 30 shillings for medicine to help those in need. They were given 10. 

A few more bills were dealt with, and now it was The Aquinas Society’s turn. They requested 20 shillings for reading materials and food. 

Peasant Gov., however, said that they just didn’t have adequate funds to spend on such superfluous things. Francis was saddened, but he understood. 

The last bill proposed was for 100 shillings towards the purchase of new quarter-zip jackets for Peasant Gov. It passed unanimously.