The Greatest Swordsman


A young man climbs a mountain to a ledge, where there sits an old man with a sword in his lap. The young man says, “I seek the

Swords from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Centuries

greatest swordsman in the world.”

Without a word, the old man draws his sword and flicks it in the air at a passing fly. The fly falls to the ground in two pieces.

The young man says, “Surely you are the greatest swordsman in the world.”

The old man says, “No. Further up the mountain is a swordsman greater than I.”

So the young man climbs up the mountain to another ledge where there sits an even older man with a sword in his lap.

The young man says, “I seek the greatest swordsman in the world.”

Without a word, the old man draws his sword and flicks it in the air at a passing fly. The fly falls to the ground in three pieces.

The young man says, “Surely you are the greatest swordsman in the world.”

The old man says, “No. At the top of this mountain is the greatest swordsman.”

So the young man climbs up to the top of the mountain, where there sits an even older man with a sword in his lap.

The young man says, “I seek the greatest swordsman in the world.”

Without a word, the old man draws his sword and flicks it in the air at a passing fly. The fly buzzes away.

“What’s going on,” the young man yells. “I thought you were supposed to be the greatest swordsman in the world. You couldn’t even kill that fly.”

“No,” the old man says. “That fly is not dead. But that fly will never again father children.”

One Response

  1. […] The Greatest Swordsman […]

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