A man travelling on foot suffered a minor sprain, and was offered lodging at a nearby monastery while he recovered.
As he settled in the first night, the old abbot in charge asked him if there was anything else he needed for his comfort. The man answered, “as a matter of fact, if it’s not too much trouble, I could use a bowling ball, a fiddle bow, a brass trombone, and a pair of rubber trousers.” The old abbot was baffled by the man’s request, but as he knew the monastery happened to have all of these things on hand, he had them brought to the man’s room.
That night, the monks were kept awake by the most horrible noise imaginable coming from their guest’s quarters.
The following night, the man repeated his request for a bowling ball, a fiddle bow, a brass trombone, and a pair of rubber trousers, and the old abbot, feeling uncomfortable refusing what he had provided before, again supplied his guest with the items.
Again the most awful noise sounded from the man’s room that night, and on the third night, the entire sequence of events was repeated.
On the fourth day, the man was healed of his injuries, and thanked the abbot for his generous hospitality in preparation to depart. The old abbot, burning with curiosity, said to his guest:”We were happy to provide you with those things, but sir, I must know, what did you need them for?”
The man responded: “Well, it’s an old family secret, but since you have been so good to me, I’ll tell you, if you promise never to tell another living soul.”
The old abbot swore as he was asked, and since he was a man of his word, the rest of us will never know what the traveler wanted each night with a bowling ball, a fiddle bow, a brass trombone, and a pair of rubber trousers.