The Man, The Monk And The Monastery

by Sherry Riter in Humor

Simonopetra monastery on Mount Athos

A man is driving down the road and breaks down near a monastery.. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, “My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night?”

The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, and even fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound; a sound like no other that he has ever heard. The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, “We can’t tell you because you’re not a monk.”

The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his merry way. Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of the same monastery.

The monks again accept him, feed him, and even fix his car..

That night, he hears the same strange mesmerizing sound that he had heard years earlier.

The next morning, he asks what the sound was, but the monks reply, “We can’t tell you because you’re not a monk.”

The man says, “All right, all right. I’m dying to know. If the only way I can find out what that sound was is to become a monk, how do I become a monk?”

The monks reply, “You must travel the Earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of sand pebbles. When you find these numbers, you will become a monk.”

The man sets about his task. Some forty-five years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says, “I have traveled the Earth and devoted my life to the task demanded and have found what you had asked for. There are 371,145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the earth.

The monks reply, “Congratulations, you are correct, and you are now considered a monk. We shall now show you the way to the sound.”

The monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk says, the sound is behind that door.

The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He asks, “May I have the key?”

The monks give him the key, and he opens the door.

Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone…The man requests the key to the stone door.

The monks give him the key, and he opens it, only to find a door made of ruby.. He demands another key from the monks, who provide it. Behind that door is another door, this one made of sapphire. And so it went on until the man had gone through doors of emerald,….

….silver, topaz, and amethyst.

Finally, the monks say, “This is the key to the last door.”

The man is relieved to be at the end. He unlocks the door, turns the knob, and behind that door he is astonished to find the source of that strange sound. It is truly an amazing and unbelievable sight….

….But I can’t tell you what it is because you’re not a monk.

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Philip Bond September 2, 2013 at 2:21 am



2 Sherry Riter September 2, 2013 at 9:57 am



3 Sherry Riter September 2, 2013 at 9:57 am



4 Anne September 2, 2013 at 10:50 am

Aargh!! You got me! LOL


5 Sherry Riter September 2, 2013 at 11:47 am

😛 I’m laughing! It got me too! 😀


6 Joan September 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I was a little disappointed not knowing what the strange sound was, but I imagine you were disappointed too when you first came upon the story and was tricked by the ending. Obviously we will never know what that strange sound was because you’re not a monk and I’m guessing that none of your readership are monks either. So we are just going to have accept that we will never know the ending. But, then again, I might be taking too much for granted. Maybe one of your readers really is a monk and writes to you demanding to know what that strange sound was? I think you set yourself up with this post, Redhead Riter! 🙂


7 Sherry Riter September 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm



8 Joan September 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Dear Redhead Riter,
I am a monk and I was out driving today when my car suddenly broke down. I had to call AAA and have my car towed to the nearest auto repair shop that was opened because today is Labor day and most places were closed for the holiday. Luckily, I found an auto repair shop that was opened. At the repair shop I was told that it would be several hours before my car was repaired. I had my laptop computer with me, so I sat down in the lounge of the auto repair shop and started surfing the Internet when I came upon your blog and your post called “The Man, The Monk And The Monastery.” Naturally, being a monk your post caught my eye. I read it with great interest, but like your readers, I, too, was disappointed by the ending. But being a monk, I realized that I am entitled to know what that strange sound was. So, please reveal the ending to me and please don’t tell me that it was an old woman who was locked away and because of her bean consumption, (being that she was a vegetarian and she ate only beans for protein), was farting behind closed doors. 🙂


9 Sherry Riter September 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm


You’re crazy Joan!


10 Joan September 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Do you have ANY IDEA how long it took me to write those two comments? Oops, I mean that one comment. I’m not the monk. I didn’t write that last comment. I’m still trying to figure out how that monk stole my avatar. (And to add insult to injury he even signed off with my smiley face!) 🙂


11 Sherry Riter September 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm

My guess would be that it took you 2 hours to write that comment! 😛


12 Joan September 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm

You are spot on! (Or maybe you know me too well!) 🙂


13 Sherry Riter September 5, 2013 at 6:26 am

😛 😉


14 Joan September 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm

So how are you doing on this beautiful Labor Day? I trust that you are not out driving near any monasteries. I’m still waiting for my car to be repaired. 🙂


15 Sherry Riter September 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Yeah right! I’m going to leave the monastery to the monks. I don’t want to be a monk or a nun! 😀


16 teresa vett September 3, 2013 at 3:38 am

I knew you would have a new post so I go right to it! LOL and when I saw this I thought dang, I already read this!!! I feel deprived,lol


17 Sherry Riter September 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Well, I’m glad you emailed me this earlier so that I could use it on a post. LOL 😉


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