You have taught me enough

I need more time.

One day the Lord of a small province received a letter stating that a very famous Noble from a neighbouring province would be visiting him in a few days time. Knowing how important this visit could be to the future of his family, and anxious to make a very good impression on his guest, the Lord went to see his eldest son. Since his son though himself to be master of calligraphy he decided to ask him to paint a special scroll to commemorate the occasion. The scroll was to be a translation of his guest’s name which meant, "to live one thousand years".

The Lord of the castle knew that while his son was proficient at calligraphy, his education was lacking in many ways. So, he decided to send the most learned teacher in his kingdom to assist his son, and to make sure that the translation was flawless. 

That afternoon a teacher sat down beside the young man and taking up a fine brush he dipped it in the wet ink. He then drew a single vertical line on a clean white piece of paper, "this is the number one" the teacher said. Dipping the brush once again into the ink he then drew another identical line, beside the first one, "this is the number two" the teacher said. Yet again the teacher dipped the brush into the ink, and for a third time he drew another identical line beside the first two, "this is the number three" the teacher said.

"I understand completely, you have taught me enough, leave me now" said the impatient young man. Ignoring the teacher’s plea that the lesson was not yet finished, the young man quickly ushered him out of the room and locked the door behind him. For several days the door remained locked, and there was no sign of the young man, or the scroll.

On the appointed day the Lord of the castle knocked loudly on his son's door and shouted, "our guest will be here within the hour when will the scroll be finished"?

"You have given me an impossible task" shouted his son, "I need more time"!

Unable to control his anxiety the Noble forced open the door.

There before him sat his son, the floor of his room covered in paper.  "I have been writing for two days, and two nights" he son cried, "and I am still only up to the number 793" he exclaimed. "I need more time, and I need more paper, why does our guest have such an unbelievably long name"!!?

Had the impatient young man not been so sure of himself, and waited a few moments more, his teacher would have taught him that the number 1000 in the guest’s language, was written using only four stokes of the brush.

Remember: “When someone is willing to share their knowledge with you, wait until the lesson is over before you claim to know it all”.