September 2, 2004
Excerpts: Good Luck - Part VI
Are you the Gnome of the Enchanted Forest, the one they call Prince of the Earth? Sid asked, as he got off his horse.
Yes, thats me. Oh boy, another enlightened mind! And what is it that you want?
Well, you see, I have been told that five days from today, a four-leaf Magic Cloverwill grow in the forest and Sid could not finish his sentence. The Gnome turned as red as a tomato and breathed in air, making his chest and face look like they were going to blow up.
What on Earth is the deal with this Magic Clover? I already told the other knight: There-have-never-been-magic-clovers-in-this-forest: Clover cannot grow in this forest, its that simple. Whoever told you it can is wrong. Or he is tricking you, or maybe he had too much to drink. You are better off returning to your castle or rescuing some lady who might be in danger. You are wasting your time here.
Sid figured out that something was going on: according to Merlin, the Magic Clover would grow in the forest, and according to the Gnome, it was impossible that under the given conditions any clover could ever grow in the Enchanted Forest. Both were probably telling the truth. So to keep on looking for the Magic Clover was a waste of time. If under the given conditions no clover could grow there, the thing to do was to find out what was needed for lover to grow. And so Sid asked the Gnome as he tried to appease him:
Hold on, hold on. Are you saying that clover has never grown . . . anywhere in the Enchanted Forest?
Never! Never indeed! insisted the Gnome, grumbling as he walked toward his home.
Dont leave, dont leave just yet, please. Tell me why. I want to know why clover has never grown in the forest.
The Gnome turned around and answered: It is the soil. Obviously, the reason is the soil. No one has ever changed this soil. Nobody has ever bothered to work this soil, to improve it. Clover needs new soil to grow and the soil in this forest has never been renewed. It has always been the same. How do you expect clover to grow here?
Therefore, Gnome, Prince of the Earth, if I wanted to have a chance, just one chance to see a clover plant grow in the forest . . . should I renew the soil, should I change it?
Of course. Dont you know that you achieve new things only when you do new things? If the soil doesnt change, things will remain the same: no clover will grow.
And do you know where I could find some new soil?
The Gnome had almost entirely disappeared into his den and his hand was about to close the wooden door that communicated with the world above. But he answered Sid:
Theres some new soil close to the land of the Cowls, just a few miles from here. It is virgin soil that has never been used. The Cowls, the dwarf cows with twelve legs, use that soil to as a privy, so it is full of manure. That really is good fresh soil.
The knight thanked the Gnome effusively. He mounted his white horse with enthusiasm and quickly rode to the land of the Cowls. He knew his chances were slim but at least it was a step forward...
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.