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September 1, 2004

Excerpts: Good Luck - Part V

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 10:38 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The next day, very early in the morning, Nott was already looking for the clover in the forest. And this was his first thought:
The Magic Cloverwill grow from the soil. And who is it that best knows each and every palm of ground in the Enchanted Forest? Thats easy: The Prince of the Earth. In other words, the Gnome. The Gnome lives underground and has built tunnels and corridors throughout the Enchanted Forest. He will tell me where the four-leaf Magic Clover will grow.
So Nott, the knight with the black cape and black horse, asked all the strange creatures he met on his way where the Gnome was to be found, until, finally, he met him.
What is it that you want? asked the Gnome. People have been telling me youve been looking for me all day long.
Thats right, answered Nott as he got off his horse. I have been told that five days from today, a four-leaf Magic Clover will grow in the forest. And clover can only grow from the soil, so you, Prince of the Earth, must know where it will grow. You are the only one who knows each millimeter of soil under this immense forest. You know better than anyone the roots of all the plants, bushes, and trees that grow in this forest. If the four-leaf Magic Cloveris going to grow five days from today, you must have seen its roots already. Tell me where it is.
Hmmm, meditated the Gnome.
You know as well as I, continued Nott, that the Magic Clover brings unlimited luck only to knights, so it is of no value to you, since you are a gnome, or to any of the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest. Tell me where it will grow. I know you know.
I know the power of the four-leaf Magic Clover. And I have all the luck I need as Prince of the Earth; youd be welcome to the clover if you could find it. But I have not seen its roots anywhere in the forest. In fact, clover has never grown in the Enchanted Forest. It is impossible that this clover will grow here. Whoever told you so has probably lied to you.
Are you sure youre not the liar? I hope you have not told Sid, the knight with the white cape and white horse, where the clover will grow! exclaimed Nott angrily.
I dont know what youre talking about! I dont know who Sid is, and I have no idea who has told you this nonsense. Not a single clover plant has ever grown in this forest, not even clover with three leaves. Quite simply, clover doesnt grow in this forest because it cant. So leave me alone. I have lived in this forest for over a hundred and fifty years and no one ever asked me such a stupid question. And now, good-bye to you!
Nott, the knight with the black cape, realized it would be useless to insist. So he mounted his horse, turned around, and decided to wait until the next day. After all, Gnome could be right and Merlin might have been wrong in the place or the timing.
At that moment, Nott felt how people feel when they are told that luck is not on their side: He felt some fear. But the easiest thing to do is to substitute skepticism: to tell yourself, That simply cant be. Thats the reply that makes the fear of having no luck recede. And thats exactly what Nott thought. Thats why he decided not to listen to the Gnome. Nott would spend some time refusing to believe what the Gnome had told him. He would do just that during the next day.
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About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.