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Thomas and the Swamp

February 7, 2012

(A freehand bowdlerization of an episode in History)

Way back in the dim, dusty, remote recesses of the early modern era, there was an impecunious knight called Thomas.

As such men usually do, Thomas eventually married.

In choosing his bride – again, as such men usually do – he selected a female of the species renowned for her unusually broad properties.

Unfortunately, possibly due to overconfidence, or just plain being hung over, Thomas failed to inspect his new acquisition before the wedding.

(The property, I mean. Chances are good that he had seen the lady at least once previously.)

Afterwards, he was surprised to discover that the lady’s broad acres were in fact large tracts of swamp lands well outside some of the least attractive suburbs of London.

Thomas resigned himself and settled down to do his duty by his wife. They were fruitful and multiplied.

Today, Thomas still has a descendant. His name is Gerald.

Gerald is a major-general, a Knight of the Garter, and a personal friend of the Royal Family.

He is also the sixth Duke of Westminster and the third richest man in Britain. He is worth twelve billion dollars.

This is possible thanks to the generations of little Thomases and Thomasinas who spent three centuries sitting firmly on those undesirable swamplands instead of selling them to the first diffident but weak-minded buyer who came along.

Those swamps are now some of the most valuable and elite properties in one of the world’s major commercial cities.

All because of Thomas.

The End


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