Filled Under: religion

The Easter Egg

Saki

The Easter Egg                   

It was distinctly hard lines for Lady Barbara, who came of good fighting stock, and was one of the bravest women of her generation, that her son should be so undisguisedly a coward. Whatever good qualities Lester Slaggby may have possessed, and he was in some respects charming, courage could certainly never be imputed to him. As a child he had suffered from childish timidity, as a boy from unboyish funk, and as a youth he had exchanged unreasoning fears for others which were more formidable from the fact of having a carefully-thought-out basis. He was frankly afraid of animals, nervous with firearms, and never crossed the Channel without mentally comparing the numerical proportion of life belts to passengers. On horseback he seemed to require as many hands as a Hindu god, at least four for clutching the reins, and two more for patting the horse soothingly on the neck. Lady Barbara no longer pretended not to see her son’s prevailing weakness; with her usual courage she faced the knowledge of it squarely, and, mother-like, loved him none the less.
Continental travel, anywhere away from the great tourist tracks, was a favoured hobby with Lady Barbara, and Lester joined her as often as possible. Eastertide usually found her at Knobaltheim, an upland township in one of those small princedoms that make inconspicuous freckles on the map of Central Europe.
A long-standing acquaintanceship with the reigning family made her a personage of due importance in the eyes of her old friend the Burgomaster, and she was anxiously consulted by that worthy on the momentous occasion when the Prince made known his intention of coming in person to open a sanatorium outside the town. All the usual items in a programme of welcome, some of them fatuous and commonplace, others quaint and charming, had been arranged for, but the Burgomaster hoped that the resourceful English lady might have something new and tasteful to suggest in the way of loyal greeting. The Prince was known to the outside world, if at all, as an old-fashioned reactionary, combating modern progress, as it were, with a wooden sword; to his own people he was known as a kindly old gentleman with a certain endearing stateliness which had nothing of standoffishness about it. Knobaltheim was anxious to do its best. Lady Barbara discussed the matter with Lester and one or two acquaintances in her little hotel, but ideas were difficult to come by.

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“Might I suggest something to the Gnoedige Frau?” asked a sallow high-cheekboned lady to whom the Englishwoman had spoken once or twice, and whom she had set down in her mind as probably a Southern Slav.
“Might I suggest something for the Reception Fest?” she went on, with a certain shy eagerness. “Our little child here, our baby, we will dress him in little white coat, with small wings, as an Easter angel, and he will carry a large white Easter egg, and inside shall be a basket of plover eggs, of which the Prince is so fond, and he shall give it to his Highness as Easter offering. It is so pretty an idea; we have seen it done once in Styria.”
Lady Barbara looked dubiously at the proposed Easter angel, a fair, wooden-faced child of about four years old. She had noticed it the day before in the hotel, and wondered rather how such a tow-headed child could belong to such a dark-visaged couple as the woman and her husband; probably, she thought, an adopted baby, especially as the couple were not young.
“Of course Gnoedige Frau will escort the little child up to the Prince,” pursued the woman; “but he will be quite good, and do as he is told.”
“We haf some pluffers’ eggs shall come fresh from Wien,” said the husband.
The small child and Lady Barbara seemed equally unenthusiastic about the pretty idea; Lester was openly discouraging, but when the Burgomaster heard of it he was enchanted. The combination of sentiment and plovers’ eggs appealed strongly to his Teutonic mind.
On the eventful day the Easter angel, really quite prettily and quaintly dressed, was a centre of kindly interest to the gala crowd marshalled to receive his Highness. The mother was unobtrusive and less fussy than most parents would have been under the circumstances, merely stipulating that she should place the Easter egg herself in the arms that had been carefully schooled how to hold the precious burden. Then Lady Barbara moved forward, the child marching stolidly and with grim determination at her side. It had been promised cakes and sweeties galore if it gave the egg well and truly to the kind old gentleman who was waiting to receive it. Lester had tried to convey to it privately that horrible smackings would attend any failure in its share of the proceedings, but it is doubtful if his German caused more than an immediate distress. Lady Barbara had thoughtfully provided herself with an emergency supply of chocolate sweetmeats; children may sometimes be timeservers, but they do not encourage long accounts. As they approached nearer to the princely dais Lady Barbara stood discreetly aside, and the stolid-faced infant walked forward alone, with staggering but steadfast gait. encouraged by a murmur of elderly approval. Lester, standing in the front row of the onlookers, turned to scan the crowd for the beaming faces of the happy parents. In a side-road which led to the railway station he saw a cab; entering the cab with every appearance of furtive haste were the dark-visaged couple who had been so plausibly eager for the “pretty idea.” The sharpened instinct of cowardice lit up the situation to him in one swift flash. The blood roared and surged to his head as though thousands of floodgates had been opened in his veins and arteries, and his brain was the common sluice in which all the torrents met. He saw nothing but a blur around him. Then the blood ebbed away in quick waves, till his very heart seemed drained and empty, and he stood nervelessly, helplessly, dumbly watching the child, bearing its accursed burden with slow, relentless steps nearer and nearer to the group that waited sheep-like to receive him. A fascinated curiosity compelled Lester to turn his head towards the fugitives; the cab had started at hot pace in the direction of the station.

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The next moment Lester was running, running faster than any of those present had ever seen a man run, and – he was not running away. For that stray fraction of his life some unwonted impulse beset him, some hint of the stock he came from, and he ran unflinchingly towards danger. He stooped and clutched at the Easter egg as one tries to scoop up the ball in Rugby football. What he meant to do with it he had not considered, the thing was to get it. But the child had been promised cakes and sweetmeats if it safely gave the egg into the hands of the kindly old gentleman; it uttered no scream but it held to its charge with limpet grip. Lester sank to his knees, tugging savagely at the tightly clasped burden, and angry cries rose from the scandalized onlookers. A questioning, threatening ring formed round him, then shrank back in recoil as he shrieked out one hideous word. Lady Barbara heard the word and saw the crowd race away like scattered sheep, saw the Prince forcibly hustled away by his attendants; also she saw her son lying prone in an agony of overmastering terror, his spasm of daring shattered by the child’s unexpected resistance, still clutching frantically, as though for safety, at that white-satin gew-gaw, unable to crawl even from its deadly neighbourhood, able only to scream and scream and scream. In her brain she was dimly conscious of balancing, or striving to balance, the abject shame which had him now in thrall against the one compelling act of courage which had flung him grandly and madly on to the point of danger. It was only for the fraction of a minute that she stood watching the two entangled figures, the infant with its woodenly obstinate face and body tense with dogged resistance, and the boy limp and already nearly dead with a terror that almost stifled his screams; and over them the long gala streamers flapping gaily in the sunshine. She never forgot the scene; but then, it was the last she ever saw.
Lady Barbara carries her scarred face with its sightless eyes as bravely as ever in the world, but at Eastertide her friends are careful to keep from her ears any mention of the children’s Easter symbol.

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Clean Irish Jokes

Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend Finney.

“Did you see the paper?” asked Gallagher. “They say I died!!”

“Yes, I saw it!” replied Finney. “Where are you callin’ from?”

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It was general question time on the “Top of the World” quiz show and the host first asked the Hungarian contestant:

“Complete this line of a song and spell your answer – Old MacDonald had a ….”

The Hungarian answered quickly: “Station – S T A T I O N.”

Next it was the Polish contestant who was asked the same question:

“Old MacDonald had a ….”

“Ranch,” was the reply, “R A N C H.”

Finally the Irishman was asked the same question:

“Old MacDonald had a….”

“Farm,” the Irishman proudly stated.

“Correct,” said the host. “Now spell the word farm.”

The Irishman thought for a moment. “E I E I O.”

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McNally was taking his first plane ride, flying over the Rocky Mountains. The stewardess handed him a piece of chewing gum. “It’s to keep your ears from popping at high altitudes,” she explains.

When the plane landed McNally rushed up to her. “Miss,” he said,

“I’m meetin’ me wife right away. How do I get the gum out of me ears?”
___________________________________________________________
Kelly was standing in front of Cohan’s Tavern when he saw a driverless car rolling slowly down the street. He ran to the car, jumped in, and pulled on the emergency brake with a jerk.

Kelly got out and very proudly said to the man approaching him, “I stopped it!”

“I know, you idiot!” said the man. “I was pushing it!”

Murphy said to his daughter, “I want you home by eleven o’clock.”

She said, “But Father, I’m no longer a child!”

He said, “I know, that’s why I want you home by eleven.”
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MacAndrews was visiting his Irish cousin, O’Bannon. While there he decided to do a bit of fishing. As he sat there on afternoon, his cousin walked by.

“What are ye doing?” asked O’Bannon.

“Fishin’,” said MacAndrews.

“Caught anything?”

“Ach, nae a bite,”

“What are ye usin’ fer bait?”

“Worms”

“Let me see it,” said O’Bannon.

MacAndrews lifted the line from the water and handed it to his cousin. O’Bannon took out his flask of potcheen and dipped the worm in it. He handed it back to MacAndrews, who cast his line once more. As soon as the worm hit the water, his rod bent over double, the line screaming out.

“Have ye got a bite?” asked O’Bannon.

“No!” shouted MacAndrews, fighting with the rod, “The worm’s got a salmon by the throat!”

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It seems three Irishmen, Sean, Michael and Tim, passed over at the same time. Upon encountering the Pearly Gates, they were met by ST. Patrick himself, and he addressed the boys thusly: “Lads, I’m here to welcome you to heaven where you will spend eternity. Just remember one thing, when you go through these gates, don’t step on any of the ducks or you’ll be punished for eternity. Sean went in first and was amazed to see that the entire ladscape was encompassed by ducks, and try as he might, sure enough he stepped on one. He was immediately joined by one of the homliest colleens he’s ever laid eyes on, and she said,”Well love, you stepped on a duck and now we’re together for all time.”And of course the exact same thing happened to Michael only his companion was even the worse for wear. By this time Tim was absolutely terrified. And he gingerly managed to make it most of the way across the court without stepping on a single duck. Suddenly, his arm was taken by a young lass. Tim looked over and beheld the most beautiful, graceful, blue-eyed woman he’s ever seen in all his life. He gasped, “I don’t understand it!” The young beauty answered, “Well I’m sure I don’t either, I was walking along minding my own business, when all of a sudden I stepped on a duck.”

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Irishman, Englishman and a German are caught in Saudi Arabia drinking. “Under Saudi law you are sentenced to 30 lashes then deported. Before you begin you are entitled to something on you back, what would you like?” said the prison guard to the Englishman just before lashing him. The English man, being a bit of a cricket fan, asked for linseed oil. When they lashed him on a post and let him go to catch his flight back to London he groaned and crawled to the airport. Next came the German. “Under Saudi law you are sentenced to 30 lashes then deported. Before you begin you are entitled to something on you back, what would you like?” said the prison guard “Nothing” said the German and, after receiving his lashes spat on the ground, called the prison guards Schisers and started off towards the airport. The guards then came to the Irishman. “Under Saudi law you are sentenced to 30 lashes then deported. Before you begin you are entitled to something on you back, what would you like?” “Oh”, replied the Irishman, “I’ll take the German”.

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Readers Digest pt 4

31. Sitting in coach during a lengthy flight, my wife and I heard a flight attendant ask the high-paying passengers in first class, “Would you care for Chardonnay or Burgundy?”
A few minutes later, the curtains between the two sections parted, and the attendant wheeled the wine cart back to our aisle. “Excuse me,” he said, looking down at us, “would you care for a glass of wine? We have white and red.”
–William V. Copeland

32. When Dad’s satellite dish conked out, I found him on the phone with the help desk. The TV set was pulled away from the wall, and he was staring at the mass of tangled wires spilling out the back of it.
He looked absolutely overwhelmed.
“Tell you what I’m going to do,” Dad said to the technician. “I’m going to hang up now, go to college for a couple of years, and then call you back.”
–Dana Marisca

33. My 50-something friend Nancy and I decided to introduce her mother to the magic of the Internet. Our first move was to access the popular Ask Jeeves site, and we told her it could answer any question she had. Nancy’s mother was very skeptical until Nancy said, “It’s true, Mom. Think of something to ask it.”
As I sat with my fingers poised over the keyboard, Nancy’s mother thought for a minute, then responded, “How is Aunt Helen feeling?”
–Catherine Burns

34. A pastor I know has a standard liturgy for funerals. To personalize each service, he uses the Find and Replace command on his computer to replace the name of the deceased from the previous funeral with the name of the deceased for the upcoming one. Recently, he had to replace the name Mary with Edna.
The next morning, the funeral was going smoothly until the congregation intoned the Apostles’ Creed. “Jesus Christ,” they read from the preprinted program, “born of the Virgin Edna.”
–Robin Greenspan

35. I feel inadequate when talking with a mechanic, so when my vehicle started making a strange noise, I sought help from a friend. A car nut, he told me how to explain the difficulty when I took it in for repair.

At the shop, I proudly recited, “The timing is off, and there are premature detonations, which may damage the valves.”As I smugly glanced over the mechanic’s shoulder, I saw him write on his clipboard, “Lady says it makes a funny noise.”–Kate Kellogg


36. My friend was flabbergasted. She’d read that in a recent survey, our home state of California was ranked 47 in a list of the nation’s smartest states.
“Can you believe that?” she fumed. “We’re 47 out of 52!”
–Juan Gonzales

37. Halfway through dinner one night, our friend Jim told us of his days playing football in college as a defensive lineman.
“Did you play sports in college, Mike?” his wife then asked me.
“Yes,” I answered. “I was on West Point’s shooting team.”
“That’s great,” she said. “Offense or defense?”
–Mike Maloney

38. Strolling through town, I saw a road worker printing a sign that read “Raised Manhole Ahead.” I pointed out that there were more like ten raised manholes. The sign, he assured me, would be changed.
Later that day, the sign was corrected. It now read “Raised Menhole Ahead.”
–Minx McCloud

39. Since I was a new patient, I had to fill out an information form for the doctor’s files. The nurse reading it over noticed my unusual name.
“How do you pronounce it?” she asked.
“Na-le-Y-ko,” I said, proud of my Ukrainian heritage.
“That sounds real nice,” she said, smiling.
“Yes, it is melodious,” I agreed.
“So,” she asked sweetly, “what part of Melodia is your family from?”
–Ann Nalywajko

40. These newspaper editors stand corrected. From The Silver City (New Mexico) Daily Press: “Due to technical difficulties, Tuesday’s page 7 was inadvertently left out and replaced with Monday’s page 7. Today, page 5 will feature Tuesday’s front page, while page 6 will be the correct page 7 for Tuesday.”
–Robin Shetler

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Noah’s Lucifer Dove

In the Russian press circulating the story of a strange fossil that was revived and killed his liberator. Is it a bird from Noah’s Ark or something completely different?
In the Russian press has recently showed up article that has caused different. The story begins in August, 2008 in Yerevan (Armenia), during the inspection of metro tunnel engineer Levon Abadzan found in rocks an object that resembles model of the aircraft. Gimcrack was just a little sticking out from the gneiss, which was buried, and Levon was trying to take away with the help of tools that he had. In the end he took the whole piece of plate rock and took it home, where he gently released the subject from shell. “Then he saw that it is not some kind of aircraft, but rather a metallized remains of creature that looks like a bird sized pigeon, but toothed. Because the fossil was found in gneiss, millions of years old, Levon Abadzan assumed that given fossil is distant ancestor of today’s birds, and that the metallic glint is a result of chemical reactions. Engineer assumed that his discovery has great scientific value and also on the market. To better cash out ‘dove’, he decided to photograph bird and sell it on the Internet auction, and an ideal environment for ‘photographing’ was near his house in the suburbs, the greenery, with a view to the sky and Ararat. He brought bird in the garden and put it among the bushes. He made dozens of recordings and photographs. The sun on bird looked very effectively, but reflection hindered him to get a quality photos – Levon was inexperienced photographer. Finishing the job, he returned the fossil in the house, he noticed that the bird is very warm on touch. He concluded that it was warm because of sun rays and placed the dove in hard and massive deep shelve for books. More than three hours Abadzan was processing in computer program images of bird, he probably wanted to get good photos of all parts of the fossils. Then with E-mail he sent photos to the museums and institutions whose addresses found on the Internet. After two days he received the response from Professor Timothy Sharp, curator of the British Museum (that is, at least, presented in the letter). Sharp, they say, has announced that he will come in Yerevan to see the discovery, in the meantime, advised, artifact should be kept in a dark place and in any case does not expose it to the sun. They exchanged phone numbers, but Abedzan pleased Sharp to don’t talk much about the well-discovery, because probably the state will claim right on it. The same day, Abadzan got another letter, in which scientific assistant at the Biblical Research Institute of Modest (USA), George Schwartz, said that he would love to see photograph of the entire bird, not just individual parts. Abadzan responded that he’ll show the complete picture for a certain amount. From the Biblical Institute were sent new, but interesting document, which included copies of medieval manuscripts, about Noah’s pigeons – birds that the biblical figure sent from the deck of his Ark to investigate are they close to the fertile land. Actually, this story is a reflection of many anciently stories about Lucifer, fallen angel who, before he was overthrown, sent his servants in the form of birds in the same goal – to find appropriate land. Attached picture was drawn toothed bird, which is not much looks like Abadzan’s discovery, but the engineer thought the existence of legends can only heighten the price of artifact. Not wanting to reveal his place of residence, he decided that a meeting with Professor Sharp not maintain at home, but in his parents house , in the village. He packed the bird and noticed that it was still warm, although she was all night on the shelf within the books. Bird even changed the pose – which was obvious in comparison with the photographs. Package ‘dove’ he laid on the back seat of the car and went on the road. Two hours later, his “Lada Niva” was found at the edge of the road. Levon’s body with traces of deep burns was situated a few steps further. No trace of bird … Levon’s brother, Yuri Abadzan considered that engineer was a victim of criminals: naively assuming that the Internet makes him invisible, Levon didn’t took into observation that is relatively easy to get the IP address and find anyone. Generally, Yuri concluded that his brother was intercepted on the road and the bird was stolen. George Schwartz think differently. He is convinced that Abadzan actually found Noah’s pigeon, or sleeping demon, servant of Lucifer. That under the influence of the sun’s rays demon awoke and killed his liberator.

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Microsoft Buys Christmas

A Microsoft Christmas

Christmas Present
NORTH POLE (API) – MICROSOFT announced an agreement with Santa Claus Industries to acquire Christmas at a press conference held via satellite from Santa’s summer estate somewhere in the southern hemisphere. In the deal, Microsoft would gain exclusive rights to Christmas, Reindeer, and other unspecified inventions. In addition, Microsoft will gain access to millions of households through the Santa Sleigh.

The announcement also included a notice that beginning Dec 20, 2009, Christmas and the Reindeer names would be copyrighted by Microsoft. This unprecedented move was facilitated by the recently acquired MS Court. Microsoft stated its commitment to “all who have made Christmas great,” and vowed to “make licensing of the Christmas and Reindeer names available to all.” It is believed that the guidelines for licensing these names, due before Halloween, will be very strict.

When asked “Why buy Christmas?” Bill Gates replied “Microsoft has been working on a more efficient delivery mechanism for all of our products for some time, but recognized that the Santa Sleigh has some immediate benefits. We’ll use it first for the next release of Windows 7.”

In a multimedia extravaganza, the attendees were shown a seemingly endless video stream of products that make up the deal. It ended with a green and red version of the Microsoft logo, and a new Christmas 98 trademark, leading into the announcement of the first product from the deal.

Vixen, the new Director of Holidays and Celebrations said, “The first step is to assimilate Christmas within the Microsoft Organization. This will take some time, so don’t expect any changes this year.” She continued, “our big plans are for next year, when we release Christmas 09. It will be bigger and better than last year.” She further elaborated that “Windows 7 users who sign up with MS Network will get sneak previews of Christmas[09] as early as November first.”

Christmas 98 is scheduled for release in December of 1998, though one unnamed source said that it is dangerously close to the end of the year and may slip into the first half of 2010. An economist at Goldman Sachs explained that a slip would be catastrophic to next year’s economy and the nation’s tax revenue, possibly requiring the IRS to move the deadline for filing income tax returns to three months after Christmas, whenever that was. “But it could be good in the long term,” he explained. “With Microsoft controlling Christmas, we may see it move to May or June, which are much slower months for retailers. This may serve to even out the economy over the year.”

When asked if other holidays are being considered, Mr. Gates explained that “Christmas is the flagship of holidays, so we wanted to start there. Not all holidays are available for sale, and the remaining will have to show a good long-term business,” suggesting that holidays with a short history may not be in the plans.

Though specific terms of the agreement were withheld, a Santa official confirmed that the deal was “sizeable, even for a man of Santa’s stature.”

Some analysts think that Santa has saturated the Holiday market, and is looking for a means to expand his business to year ’round products and services. Others contend that the Jolly Red Man is looking to retire in Redmond.

A spokesperson for the most famous Reindeer could not be reached for comment.

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