Much power, limited utility

Treading carefully so as to avoid bits of ceiling, the pupil and the master backed across the room. “It is,” said the old man, “I believe, an oak. While I agree that it is a mightily impressive specimen, did you not start with a pepper seed?”

“Yes, Master.”

“Then there is a question that must be answered.”

“Yes, Master.”

The far wall of the room had escaped the worst of the sudden growth of the mature tree and the Master selected another small pot, another small pepper seed and another small cupful of soil.

“Begin again.”

“Yes, Master.”

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