The development teams managed by abbot Ruh Cheen of the Spider Clan were quite pleased with the abbot’s decision to eliminate all design documents. For less time writing meant more time coding, which was their principal joy. And since the Temple built its teams with developers from all three major clans, word soon spread throughout the Elephant's Footprint and Laughing Monkey, whose monks petitioned their own abbots to follow Ruh Cheen’s example.
As the flow of documentation slowed to a trickle, one voice that remained oddly silent was that of the old scribe Qi, who was responsible for cataloging all Temple knowledge—chiefly, the designs of its many systems. A junior monk asked the scribe, “Why have you raised no objections to this new practice? It seems destined to make you obsolete.”
The scribe replied, “I do not rebuke the sun for rising late in autumn.”
The monk reported to his fellows that the scribe had simply surrendered to the inevitable. Yet one senior monk was suspicious.
“Tell me his words exactly,” said the senior monk.
When the junior monk did this, the senior monk laughed and went to see the scribe.
“So,” the senior monk said to Qi, “our scribe welcomes the shorter days. Is it because he is fond of golden leaves and crisp apples? Or has he simply tired of warm afternoons?”
“Let he who dreams of endless summer spend a year in the desert,” replied the scribe.
“And let he who fancies autumn spend a day among the birds and beasts,” said the senior monk, “for they know that colder days are coming. What is your plan for the winter of your days, when your services are no longer required? Emigrate? Hibernate?”
“Innovate,” said the scribe. “And if I can invent nothing, I shall reinvent myself. Let mathematicians talk of pi and e and i and phi. The only constant of consequence is delta-t, the Inconstant Constant, whose value no one knows, except that it always exceeds zero.”
“Yet if you remain here, you must witness the death of all you have created,” observed the senior monk.
The old scribe removed his spectacles to polish them. “When the last leaf has fallen, ask Shinpuru the gardener why he does not burn his rake for warmth.”
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