Two members of a small monastery decided to open a florist shop to help raise money for their good works. The idea of buying beautiful flowers from gentle friars appealed to a lot of people in the town, and soon they were flocking to the shop.
Meanwhile, the florist across town saw his business virtually disappear when all his customers began buying flowers from the monks. He thought the monks had an unfair advantage, so he visited them and asked them to return to the monastery and leave business to businessmen. They politely declined. So he visited the monastery and asked the Abbot to convince the monks to abandon the business. He declined as well. Next the florist sent his mother, his parish priest, and his children to visit the monks, asking them to cease their business so the original florist could make a living. It didn’t work.
Finally, in desperation, the florist hired the town thug, Hughson McNasty, to use personal persuasion. Hugh McNasty showed up one night with a cudgel, shattered the windows of the monks’ shop, tossed their flowers out into the street, and gave the monks black eyes, promising them he’d be back unless they closed their business.
Terrified, the monks shut their store and returned to the monastery.