Last year authorities in Montana discovered that a hermit had been living in an old Forest Service cabin, and they were concerned about his well being. They decided to send up a team of experts from different fields to analyze his living arrangements, and to make sure that he was okay.
First they decided on a Psychologist, to make sure that the man was mentally handling his isolation. Next, they decided on an Engineer, to make sure that the cabin is still structurally sound and safe. Finally, they decided on a Theological professor from the university, to make sure that the man's spiritual needs were being fulfilled.
The team made it's way up the treacherous terrain in three days, but they were truly exhausted. Finally, on the evening of the third day, they spotted the cabin. From the outside, it appeared all was well.
The area around the cabin was clean, the ground almost appearing as though it had been swept often. There was smoke coming from the stove pipe chimney, and the door was slightly ajar.
Cautiously, they walked inside.
Inside the cabin everything appeared neat and tidy. The only thing that stood out, and this immediately caught the attention of all three men, was that the stove was suspended 18 inches off of the floor by about a hundred wires attached to the ceiling. The pattern of the wires was very intricate, cutting this way and that, and it appeared to be a very sturdy arrangement.
At first, all three men did not know what to make of the arrangement. Finally with a loud, "Oh yes!" the Psychologist spoke. "This very clearly explains this man's desire to return to the womb. He has arranged the stove so that he can crawl underneath to, once again, feel the warmth of the womb."
"Nonsense!" exclaimed the Engineer. "This serves a very clear and definite thermodynamic purpose. He has lifted the stove so as to reduce the zone which the heat has to permeate, allowing the cold air to remain within the cabin, locking the heat in place. This man is a genius."
The Theological Professor stayed quiet a moment longer, but then he too spoke. "I hate to disappoint you both, but I believe you are both wrong. The placement of fire on raised altars has always been a significant emblem of the existence of faith and religion in cultures of the past and present. It would clearly be that this man has created an altar for whatever faith he has clung onto or, worse yet, created."
At this, the three men argued until there was a loud knock at the door, and the three men turned to see that the hermit had returned to his home. Immediately the three men approached him and demanded to know the significance of the placement of the stove.
The hermit stared at the three men long enough to hush them up, and then he spoke.
"Simple...had to fix stove pipe...plenty of wire...not enough stove pipe!"