far from the Tree

The Black Death was back, and anyone with the option was well-esconced in the country somewhere, far from London and its wretched, stinking slums.

For some, it was a heaven of
whispers, intrigues and desperate liasons. Others, like Isaac, found themselves in a curious
purgatory where the well-born gorged themselves on larks tongues, French wines and desperate couplings while everyone else either died or did not.

One day, to escape the corrosive triviality of the post-luncheon ennui, Isaac wandered off to a distant corner of the gardens. Unpocketing a volume of Hobbes' objections to Descartes' Meditations, he settled himself beneath the boughs of an old apple tree and savoured the sounds of silence, as he began to read...

His meditations ended abruptly when an eager young apple fell with a thud from a low branch to the crown of his head and then to the grass beside him. "Why don't things ever fall sideways... or fall up, instead of bugging me?" he asked himself.

Ruminating on the mendacity of it all, a thought occurred to him, and the more he thought on it, the brighter it glowed. "It's not My fault" he said to himself "I have been wronged, injured and impacted upon, and I am entitled to restitution and some recognition of my pain and suffering here".

Soon, he was a living legend among Torts afficianados, and a very wealthy young man. When he died, less than a decade later, it was said there was "no pleasure known to man" in which he had not indulged.


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