The Wise Husbandman and the Foolish Virgins
A little known parable by an even less well-known apostle, Thaddeus, now unearthed for the very first time...or any time.

During the Last Supper at Pizza Hut, while the twelve disciples were waiting for the garlic bread starters to arrive, they asked the Lord for a parable to pass the time and Jesus said to them:

There was a certain husbandman who builded a bathing pool for his wife and children in the years of his youth, sumptuously arrayed with offering tables, oxen roasts and encompassed about with apple and peach trees. But his wife was a froward woman who did sell herself nightly in the market place and his children wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had suffered enough, he called his wife and children unto him, saying: 'Get thee gone, thou strumpet and take the idle fruit of thy deceitful womb with thee.'

And it came to pass that in his bitterness the husbandman neglected the pool, until, one day, in his dotage, he said unto himself: "I will go down unto my pool and harvest the fruit of the trees which I did plant in the years of my youth.'

Then he took up a pail and his staff and did go down to the pool. And lo, as he approached, the sound of happy laughter did smite his aged ears and he stood still and said unto himself: 'These are the voices of young maidens; howbeit that they are come down unto my pool?'

Immediately he stepped forth from the shade of an apple tree and espied five naked virgins bathing in his pool. And when he saw their comeliness, he said unto himself: 'Surely their breasts are like clusters of ripe grapes, their bellies an heap of wheat set about with lilies which wanteth but my liquor to anoint them. Their mouths are most sweet: yea, they are altogether lovely. O that they might open to me: for my loins coveteth their comeliness and my lips long to sup upon their milk-white breasts.

So saying, he bethought himself of a cunning ruse and called out to the maidens. Straightaway they did hide themselves in the deepest parts of the pool, and cried out in great vexation of spirit: 'Howbeit thou art come to spy upon us? We shall not uncover our nakedness until thou departest.'

Then the husbandman did hold aloft his pail and said unto the five virgins: 'I cometh not to spy upon thee, but to feed the crocodile that liveth in this pool.'
And the virgins did break into piteous lamentations, crying: 'A CROCODILE? Eeeek!'
And straightaway, while he yet spake, the virgins arose from the pool and casteth themselves at the feet of the husbandman, crying with one voice: 'Thou hast saved us from the wicked serpent, how can we ever repay thee?'

And it came to pass that the five naked virgins straightaway lay with the husbandman and were made fruitful and he was greatly blest and dwelt with them all the days of his life.

And I say unto you, my disciples, the foolishness of youth is a fruit that is soon plucked and cast into the winepress and seen no more, but the wisdom of old age has its own reward.

Contributed by Miranda Givings

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