Many thanks to Hanzík for the Czech translations!

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Case 23

Shape

One morning a nun named Zjing was passing by a terminal, around which were clustered several learned brothers of the One Shoe Clan. On the screen a program listing was glowing softly amid the golden shafts of dawn. Zjing paused to glance at it.

“That is not right,” said the nun, and continued walking.

This was reported to the abbess of One Shoe, who later that day found the nun working in the pottery shed. The nun’s hands were red and wet with clay: she was turning a new water jug on the potter’s wheel, for that was her assigned duty.

“A learned brother says that you showed him grave disrespect this morning,” said the abbess. “Do you deny this?”

“Wú,” said the nun. “A hornet may sting a bear, when the nest is underfoot.”

“The brother maintains that he did not require correction,” said the abbess. “I watched him execute this selfsame code, and found its performance to be quite satisfactory. He says that you tarried for no longer than it takes a branch to fall, and thus could not have judged his labors fairly.”

“Wú,” said the nun.

“Explain,” said the abbess.

Zjing placed the newly-made jug on a shelf, next to a dozen others. All were perfectly symmetrical, and identical in every proportion.

The nun hesitated for a moment, then with a snarl squeezed the pliable throat of the new jug in both hands. She then punched its bowl repeatedly, and mangled its elegant handle.

Drawing a breath, Zjing filled a pitcher of water and emptied it into the lopsided jug. She stepped slowly backward to stand beside the abbess.

Every last drop of water was contained.

“Satisfactory,” said the nun.

Topics...  elegance, code reviews