The physician’s apprentice

This post was written by admin on July 10, 2009
Posted Under: teaching stories

In the olden days there was a wise physician who had an eager apprentice. This student kept asking the master if he could prescribe for one of the patients. The teacher kept repeating that the student was not yet ready.

The pupil kept importuning and pleading to serve a patient. Eventually the teacher said, ‘Soon a patient will come who will complain of a certain pain in the chest. He needs to drink the juice of a pomegranate and he will be cured. You can prescribe for him’

Sure enough a patient with such symptoms arrived and the eager apprentice hardly listened to the ailment and before the patient had finished shouted, “Take pomegranate juice!”

The patient became angry called him a fool and left the physician’s abode muttering under his breath that the idiot did not know what he was talking about.

The physician told the student to observe him and learn since soon another patient would arrive who also needed pomegranate juice.

Once more there was not a long wait before such a patient arrived. The wise doctor listened attentively with care to the patients complaints. He thoughtfully stroke his beard. “This is a difficult case. Let me think. You need the juice of a sour fruit. Though, it must not be too sharp…. No a lemon will not do,” He said.

He stroke his beard again, apparently thinking and continued, “It must not be from a fruit with a soft skin. No not an apple.”

He examined the patient. Looked at his eyes and asked him to stick his tongue out and say, “Ahh…”

Then the wise physician continued, “I think it must be a red fruit. Yes, a cherry perhaps? No, that’s too sweet. A strawberry? No, that too, has a soft skin. This is a taxing case. But, you have come to the right place. It might take a little time but I am sure I will get it right.”

He then went to his book case and opened an old book. He leaved through it and paused on a page. Suddenly he shut the book and rushed back to face the patient. ‘I know, what you need is the juice of a pomegranate.’

The patient was very pleased and left accepting the prescription and later when he was cured brought two sheep and a goat as a gift to the physician.”

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