The Ogre in the Pit

Once upon a time there was a White Knight in shining armor looking for adventure. He came to a village where legend told of a terrible ogre in a pit. Bravely the White Knight took up the challenge. He would do battle with the terrible ogre in the pit. The people remembered several courageous men had climed down into the pit, but no one could remember even one of those champions returning.

The White Knight stood looking at the deep, dark hole. The opening was so narrow he stripped himself of armor and unnecessary clothing. He took only a long dagger, which he tied around his neck with a leather strap. After securing a rope at the opening and testing its strength, he gripped it firmly and began lowering himself, hand under hand, letting the rope slip between his feet. Soon he felt the cool, smooth floor of the chamber. It took several minutes for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, but soon he focused on a large mound. Then he realized it was the bones of his predecessors, along with their assorted weapons. A little way off he spotted another mound, but he wasn’t sure what it was.

Suddenly he was surprised by the inhabitant of the pit—surprised because he didn’t anticipate that the ogre would be only as tall as a rabbit. The ogre waved his arms and screeched with its squeaky voice, trying to appear as fierce as possible. The White Knight picked up a sword from the floor and prepared to do battle, but quick as a rat, the ogre ran into a hole near the second mound.

The White Knight followed, and as the second mound became clearer and again he was surprised. Before his eyes there glittered balls of gold as big as grapefruits and diamonds as big as plums. With only a small part of that treasure, any commoner would be a prince for life. The little ogre lost its importance in view of this great treasure.

But the White Knight had a problem. How would he carry it out of the hole? He had no pockets. Who would believe him if he didn’t bring back at least one piece?

He suddenly had an idea. He would take one of the diamonds in his mouth and carry it that way until he had climbed out of the hole. He could always come back later for the rest. Hurriedly he chose one of the larger diamonds. It fit comfortably into his mouth, and he began the arduous climb out of the pit, hand over hand, gripping the rope with his feet. His tongue held the diamond tightly against the roof of his mouth. Higher and higher he climbed until the heavy exertion began to render him breathless. He would have to breathe through his mouth in order to get enough air. As he took in a large gulp of air the diamond slipped and stuck in his throat. The White Knight choked on his treasure, lost consciousness, and fell to his death on the mound of bones below.

You see, the terrible ogre in the pit was not the little troll. The ogre in the pit was greed—greed in the hearts of men who saw easy treasure and the hope of unearned gain. The glitter of this world had choked him to death.

Matt. 13:22 – “And he that was sown among the thorns, this is he that heareth the word; and the care of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”

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