Monday, 19 March 2012

The Leper in the Master Bedroom

The Leper in the master bedroom is a story which appears in different forms in several moral texts. The story goes that this charitable lady hears a leper outside moaning one day. The lady talks to the leper and he convinces her to let him into the house. Then when in the house he convinces the lady to let him rest in the master bed. At this point her uncharitable husband comes home. Every version emphasises that the husband has a particular hatred of lepers. The husband wants to rest for a while and goes to enter the bedroom. His wife tries to stop him making excuses, but eventually he forces his way in. The leper has vanished and the whole room smells like paradise! When the wife explains why she had been reluctant to let him enter the husband understands that a miracle has occurred, turns over a new leaf and spends the rest of his life to being charitable to lepers. However what I find interesting about this story is that even though the leper in the story must be sent by God, how he talks to the lady to get himself not just in the house but in the bed is quite harsh...So does being holy excuse rudeness?

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