No Inventing Allowed

I’m the blacksmith here in the village. It’s a good trade, and I enjoy it. I make horseshoes, cookware, nails, iron tools; whatever we need. I keep my shop clean and my forge hot.

One day I had an idea. I was educated enough to know how steam engines work, so why couldn’t I build one? I hammered two big pots into hemispheres and joined them. Water inside, fire underneath — a serviceable boiler. A piston and valve system was easy. A wagon wheel with some added weight would make a good flywheel.

I began to modify a carriage to run on steam power. I was busy with the transmission when he walked in. The man who could take my job away in an instant if he pleased.

“What the hell is this?” he asked. Straight to the point.

I put on my best salesman act. “Sir, may I present… the horseless carriage.”

The manager sighed. “You really don’t get the point of a museum, do you. You’d better restore that thing to original 1840s condition before the next busload of tourists get here.”

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