A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned
to helping the other monks in copying the old canons
and laws of the church, by hand.
He notices, however, that all of the monks are
copying from copies, not from the original manuscript.
So, the new monk goes to the Old Abbot to question
this, pointing out that if someone made even a small
error in the first copy, it would never be picked up!
In fact, that error would be continued in all of
the subsequent copies.
The head monk, says, “We have been copying
from the copies for centuries, but you make a
good point, my son.”
He goes down into the dark caves
underneath the monastery where the original
manuscripts are held as archives,
in a locked vault that hasn’t
been opened for hundreds of years.
Hours go by and nobody sees the Old Abbot.
So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him.
He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing.
“We missed the R! We missed the R!
We missed the bloody R!”
His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably.
The young monk asks the old Abbot, “What’s wrong, father?”
With a choking voice, the old Abbot replies,
“The word was …
(The origin of this story is unknown to me)
- Monastery Sretenje (ireport.cnn.com)