Updated: Dec 11, 2021
There was a devil, so full of treachery that no soul---whether that of man, tree, or beast was beyond his schemes.
The devil gazed toward a hard-shelled bug and thought it would be funny to watch it struggle. He lifted the bug and flipped it upside down so that it could not walk anymore. The bug tried and tried to flip itself over----but alas its legs were too short to touch the earth behind it. His legs scraped the air–hoping for some grace to pick him up and turn him around, but no one came. He continued walking, night and day but to no avail. The hard-shelled bug died of starvation and the devil’s fun came to an end.
The devil was unsatisfied and so he moved on to an oak tree. He cut off half of its limbs so that the tree was forced to struggle twice as hard for sunlight. The oak did not mourn; It stayed motionless---expressionless. In time, it began to thrive and produced double the foliage on the side that was still living. When the devil saw this, he became bored and moved on.
Next, he went to a spider who was building a web for its new dwelling place. The devil thought it would be fun to watch the spider toil nonstop: meaninglessly. He grabbed a spout of water and washed away the web so that it was completely gone. The next morning, the devil went back outside to where the spider resided and saw another half-made web in the exact location and the exact style as the one before. Again, the devil washed it away, laughed and walked back inside. This cycle repeated for 100 years until the devil became bored. He moved on; and the spider finally finished building his home.
Lastly, the devil went to a man, who had built his home on a plain with plentiful crops and a fence walled around his cattle. The devil looked upon this man no different than he had the spider, hard shelled bug, or oak tree. He summoned a storm which beget a tornado. Half the man’s crops were ripped from their soil. Half the man’s cattle either died or ran free after the tornado ruined their fence. Half of the man’s house was thrown into the air. He remained there sullied with his face in his hands. He rebuilt his fence, replanted his crops, and rebuilt his house – only to have a second storm ravage him in the same manner. Half of the land was ruined once again.
The man cried, but this time he could not bring himself to toil. He left the land to return home from whence he came. The devil was pleased; and he continued to follow the man.