The Lethargic Leader

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 eager young man, always excited for adventure and ambitious in his pursuits of philosophy and theology. He was, however, a very tired young man, always excited for nap time and ready to sleep between – and during – study times.

Despite this unfortunate combination of traits, he was an active member of his community: a leader, even, as lord to his noble house, the Disciples of God (DOG for short).

Our tale begins one fateful Saturday. With only a half-hour before DOG’s celebration of the Lord’s Day, Francis woke from an afternoon nap and found that there was no bread for the feast.

So, despite the temptation of another nap, he saddled his steed, Buick, and rode off to the local market, Crow-Gar.

He searched aisle after aisle, finding nothing but crumbs. It would seem the last minute Lord’s Day rush had already been through here and picked the aisles clean.

Walmarket is too far to get there and back on time. What is there left to do?

Just as Francis was about to give up and return empty handed, he spotted in the distance a golden loaf of bread resting under the light of a chandelier.

Then, catching a figure out of the corner of his sight, he turned and locked eyes with Joseph, lord to Shepherds of the Immaculate Mary’s People, or SIMP. DOG and SIMP had a long standing rivalry, and Francis and Joseph had a longer one.

Each of them immediately realized what the other was after and stood motionless. Twenty paces apart; one-hundred paces from their prize.

Stances low, ready to charge, they stood; they stared. Neither budged; neither wavered. Each twitched; each squinted. A drop of the pin could be heard; nothing was heard.

Joseph broke first, charging straight for the bread, and Francis was in fast pursuit. Joseph was a sprinter and quickly took the lead, but he just as quickly tired out.

Francis had been napping before this, so his energy stores were full. Though he was slower, he managed to pass Joseph, only to slip on an unfortunately placed banana peel.

Francis was down, and Joseph took the opportunity to pass him. With Joseph now a mere seventy paces from the loaf, Francis realized the gravity of the situation, rose to his feet, and hobbled forward at incredible speeds.

At the ten pace marker, Francis caught up to Joseph – who was more so lightly jogging than running at this point. The hobbler and the jogger could each taste that bread now.

They could smell it, and, so they thought, hear its crispy texture. Just five more paces. So close.

Then Mary, lord of KIL (Known and Intimately Loved), picked up the loaf and went to checkout. Utter defeat.

Francis and Joseph looked at one another, sighed, bowed their heads and began the somber journey back to the hill.

Francis returned to his noble house’s common room, sat down and waited mournfully for his brothers to arrive, for he knew that rather than breaking bread, all he could do was break the bad news.

Half an hour rolled by, and no one showed up for this Saturday’s feast. Naturally, Francis found this rather strange.

Then, as he was vigorously scratching his head, he heard someone from below the window call out to a passerby, “Happy Friday!”

Friday? There was still a whole day to get bread! Exhausted from the day’s trials, Francis went to bed early.

The next day, Francis woke up from his afternoon nap and realized there was only 30 minutes before the Lord’s Day celebration, and there was still no bread for the feast. So, despite the temptation of another nap, he saddled his steed, Buick, and rode off to the local market.


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