The Mancala Monk is warm and sincere.
The details of his life are far from clear,
But you'll find rumors and whispers aren't hard to hear.
Some say he was born and reared in an austere monastery not far from here.
They say the Monk grew up in one of the poorest places,
But he always wore a smile like florist's faces.
He grew in solitude but had social graces,
He would welcome any stranger with warm embraces.
He loved earth and nature, all the "boring" places.
With a gleam in his eye,
He'd scan the sea and the sky,
And found time to explore all of the forest's mazes.
They say he loved mazes, puzzles and problems.
Troublesome conundrums, his mind racing to solve them.
Before long, his longings led the Monk to wander,
To stumble upon some uncommon fun called Mancala.
It was kids in a slum,
At least that's where they were from,
Now, they were under a tree,
The tree, under the sun.
To the Monk these little one's looked both old and young,
Strange wrinkles on their foreheads, fresh dirt on their bums.
They were digging in the dirt,
Fingers and thumbs,
Digging in the dirt,
Shhhh, don't tell their mom
They dug holes,
Lots of holes.
They put rocks in the holes,
They stopped and they talked about the rocks in the holes.
The Monk watched,
As they put the rocks in the holes.
He thought and he thought about the rocks and the holes.
He approached and he asked what it was they were doing,
What madness ensuing?
"Can you please, if you please, describe the goal you're pursuing?"
The children smiled at the Monk,
They were warm and sincere.
"If you want to learn Mancala just come over here."
There's more to the story,
Much more to be written,
All we have now is oral tradition.
But the life of the Monk still speaks for itself,
Every time a fresh mind grabs a game off a shelf.