MUSTARD  4'2m0f The parable of the mustard seed

ED --   And now, sit down, put your feet up, relax and listen to 
another edition of... Parables on Parade. Tonight's parable comes 
from Matthew chapter 13 beginning at verse 32.

Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it 
is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the 
birds of the air come and perch in its branches.

FRED -- (british accent) Alright, nobody leaves the room until I 
find out who done it!

ED --   What is it now?

FRED -- I'll solve this case, or my name isn't Sherlock Holmes.

ED --   Your name isn't Sherlock Holmes. What are you doing with 
that fishing tackle box?

FRED -- This is no ordinary fishing tackle box. This is an official 
crime scene investigation kit. 

ED --   An OFFICIAL crime scene investigation kit?

FRED -- That's what it said in the ad in the back of the comic book.

ED --   And in your official crime scene investigation kit is an 
official fingerprinting kit.

FRED -- Precisely, Dr Watson. I am fingerprinting this flower pot. 
Then I shall compare the finger prints on the pot with the 
fingerprints of all those who had access to this studio during the 
last two weeks. Then, by a process of elimination I shall uncover 
the culprit.

ED --   And just what was the alleged culprit alleged to have done?

FRED -- He switched pots.

ED --   He switched pots.

FRED -- Precisely. For reasons which I have yet to uncover, the 
perpetrator gained access to the studio and made off with my flower 
pot, leaving behind an identical flower pot.

ED --   Uh huh. 

FRED -- You see, Watson, in anticipation of today's parable, I 
planted a tiny mustard seed in my flower pot two weeks ago. Then, 
when I came in here today, my pot was gone and this identical pot 
was put in its place.

ED --   And what makes you think that this is not the same flower 
pot that you brought in here two weeks ago?

FRED -- Elementary, my dear Watson. My pot had nothing but soil and 
a tiny mustard seed in it. Even a child can see that this pot has a 
six foot tree growing in it.

Ahha! A clear fingerprint! Right here near the top edge of the pot. 
The game is afoot, Watson!

ED --   And whose print is it?

FRED -- (clears throat, mumbles) Mine.

ED --   Excuse me?

FRED -- Mine. I said it's mine. I don't know how the cunning villain 
did this, but he not only stole my flower pot, but he also 
transferred my fingerprints to the new pot. Fascinating, eh, Dr 

ED --   I'm spellbound.

FRED -- Far fetched as it sounds, it's possible that the villain 
emptied my pot and made off with the soil and the mustard seed, 
after transplanting this tree. But why go to all the trouble, eh?

ED --   What kind of tree is that?

FRED -- (no accent) How should I know, do I look like a botanist 
to you?

ED --   The species of tree may provide a clue for solving this 

FRED -- (British accent) By Jove, Watson, you may have 
something there! Perhaps this whole thing is a diabolical clue 
planted by Moriarty to take me far afield and away from 
discovering a far greater crime. I happen to have a botanical 
guide book in my official crime kit. Let's see. Green stem. That 
eliminates all disiduous and coniferous trees. Small yellow 
flower. Uh huh. Uh huh. That brings us to... only remaining... 
possib... oh.

ED --   Well, Sherlock, have you cracked the case?

FRED -- (clears throat) Ah, well, perhaps we should finish this 
investigation another time.

ED --   What kind of tree is it, Sherlock?

FRED -- (no accent) You know very well, it's not a tree at all.

ED --   What kind of plant starts as a small seed and ends up as a 
six foot plant that looks like a tree?

FRED -- (muffled) A mustard plant.

ED --   Excuse me?

FRED -- I said, it's a mustard plant.

ED --   Tune in next time for another edition of Parables on Parade.

FRED -- (afar) I'm so embarrassed.

ED --   (afar) Maybe you could fingerprint my clothes dryer. One of 
my socks is missing.

FRED -- (afar) Very Funny.

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