May I present to you, dear readers, a reading from the Book of Revelations...
Many years ago, the king of Gath called on his scholars, and asked them: "Tell me, what maketh man wise?"
The scholars conjured up many a fine parable, but none of them satisfied the king, who said unto them, "Scholars, what you have told me would help me know a wise man when I saw him, but this I knew already. I ask you again, what maketh man wise?"
So the scholars captured an owl, and slowly, with the help of an abacus, they devised stories to explain its wisdom.
These stories did not please everyone, however. One day, a particularly clever man asked, "Is a man an owl?"
To which the other scholars replied, "No."
"Then," said the clever man, "you are wasting your time."
Seeing this, the scholars were most vexed, and they rent the leather patches from the elbows of their robes.
"Now now," said the clever man, "Fret not. Know we not that what maketh man wise is his being a man?!"
"But this will not please the king!" wailed the scholars.
"Oh," said the clever man, "then we must befuddle him with mysticism and bullshit."
The scholars saw that the clever man was right, and they proceeded to befuddle the king. This worked so well that the clever man was elected to the head of the academy, and given a tablet of his own.
However, one day a stranger came into the town. "Tell me," the king beseeched him, "What maketh man wise?"
The stranger decided to consult the tablets, and found the abacus, and the story of the owl. He saw that if he used the abacus wisely, he could make new stories, and they would explain what maketh man wise. And if other men used the abacus, they could see this too.
The stranger was excited, and he sent his findings to the tablets. When the scholars heard of this, it caused them great anguish - for what if the king were to discover that they had been befuddling him with mysticism and bullshit?
So they beseeched the clever man for help. "Here is what you must do," he told them, "When the keepers of the tablets consult you about the stranger's stories, you must pretend that you have never heard of the abacus!"
And so when the keepers of the tablets consulted the scholars about the stranger's stories, the scholars pretended as they had been told.
When the stranger heard of this, he showed the keepers of the tablets the abacus, and they were much perplexed. "Truly there is an abacus," they said, "and there is the story of the owl. But the scholars cannot see it. What does this mean?"
The keepers of the tablets decided that they should confer at length, and they advised the stranger that in the meantime, he should live in a box.
Here endeth the reading.
(For hints, click the links.)