The Beast

There is a black Stallion of tremendous strength and beauty. Indeed, this is a remarkable animal. His majestic grace is truly unequalled in the kingdom of horses. He has sired many horses that have become famous and noble in their own right. He has incredible stamina, and the magnitude of his sheer raw strength is simply overwhelming.

However, among all these positive attributes, there are negatives: two which are in the forefront. He is headstrong, and he is unpredictable. Of these two latter qualities, the unpredictability is exceedingly the worst. It is for this reason that the Stallion must be confined to a well fortified corral.

Indeed, the corral is a monument to itself. It is spacious, and it has a high fence all around, which prevents this incredible animal from jumping to the open, uncharted spaces beyond. The fence is not of ordinary material, it is of a thicker, more durable quality than the general run of fence, as the Stallion is known to find the weak spots in the fence, and persist in exploiting them until they surrender to his will. He has escaped from his corral many times, and the Master of the Stallion knows all too well the ordeal which must be endured when the Stallion escapes. For among all the attributes which the Stallion embodies, when he escapes from the confines of the corral, he becomes violently wild, as well as unpredictable.

The posts of the corral are strong, and there is a gate. The gate is made of above average material with regards to strength, for the Stallion loves to stand near the gate and push it with his nose. It’s almost as if he is waiting, testing, just to see if the Master has been vigilant, and latched the gate properly. The Stallion seems to have as his life purpose a vigilance of the vigilance of the Master.

The latch to the gate, as one would suspect, is above average too. It is made of stainless steel, and is a hasp and hinge type piece of hardware that was made by the hand of the local Millwright. The Millwright was chosen carefully by the Master for the construction of the latch, because of his thorough commitment to superior quality workmanship, and also for his exceeding respect for the Stallion. The Millwright and the Master have known each other for many years. They have known the Stallion since the time when the Stallion did not present such a potential threat. However, today, they both know all too well the total mayhem and havoc which is inevitably unleashed by the escape of the Stallion. The Master and the Millwright have patiently and diligently collaborated many ways in which to best contain the Stallion. The Master and the Millwright both understand that there is no defeat of the Stallion, only containment.

Once, when the Stallion escaped, he was gone for many weeks. This particular episode was several years hence, and to this day, the Master has still not recounted all the damage that the Stallion imposed during that particular binge. The Master spent many weeks looking for the Stallion during that time, and the trail was not hard to follow. Patiently, persistently, the Master followed the trail of destruction that the Stallion had visited upon the people of the village, and the property that they valued. And one by one, the Master visited them, and offered his apologies for the destruction that the Stallion was visiting upon their lives. During all this, the Master made a solemn vow to himself and to the villagers to never, ever let down his guard and vigilance when it came to the proper keeping of the Stallion. Actually, the key to keeping the Stallion was an irony that the Master had contemplated many times. It all came down to the pin in the latch.

For all the fencing that holds the Stallion, for the strong posts, for the gate, and the latch are nothing without the small pin which fits into the latch and keeps it all in place. This one small pin holds the latch snug and sure, which holds the gate, which closes the fence, which contains the Stallion. Just one small, tiny pin. The Master has spent many hours contemplating the irony of how small is the pin, which has the power to contain such an incredible Beast. And ultimately, the Master knows that contemplation is nothing without vigilance. Keep that pin in place.

And there are those among us who know that the pin is no more than the slightest indulgence in foolishness.

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