Tag Archives: antifables

The Gift

Once a great wizard had a son, who grew up with every benefit, and yet was ungrateful and unhappy.

Willing the son’s good, the wizard removed him from his grand estate, and set him on a lonely road in a foreign land. But as things went, the son wandered off the road, got lost in the dark and fell in a pit some hunters had dug for beasts.

He suffered there. He grew hungry, afraid, hopeless. Just when all seemed lost, the great wizard came to his rescue and lifted his son to safety.

Seeing his son’s miserable condition, the wizard magically healed his injuries, gave him food, dressed him in fine new clothes, and loaded his bags with gold.

Thus equipped, the son again set on his way, and coming to the next city, using the gold he had been given, invested in land, married well, prospered and forgot his near-death encounter.

He became a great man in the community. And yet, and yet, over time, as before, he again became unhappy.

All he could think of was his work, his possessions and his fear of losing all he had gained.

Then one day, the wizard came again to his son, in disguise, and finding him on his estate asked, “How is it that you have come by such a vast and beautiful home, and such a wonderful family?”

And then the son answered, “I worked hard, and invested wisely.”

The wizard sighed, the looking keenly on his son, he noted his continuing deep unhappiness, and again having great compassion on the him, the wizard stuck the estate with a spell and it disappeared in an instant.

The son was again on a remote road, again he was poor, and alone, and again he wandered from the path and again he fell into a covered pit and again the wizard came to him, again as his father, and lifted him out.

But this time, willing his son’s happiness more than anything, the wizard did not give him clothes, or food or gold. Instead the wizard, out of great love for his son, gave him the gift of a powerful memory.

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Filed under Spirituality, Uncategorized

The Refinery

A man walked into an office, and looking at the woman behind the desk he asked, “What’s going on here? Are you guys open for business or what?”

“Yeah, we’re open,” she said.

“I saw your sign,” he said. “Are you a new business? The Refinery — what’s that? What do you guys do?”

“We refine,” the woman replied.

“Really,” he said, “Is that new?”

“No, it’s what we have always done,” she said, “We just have a new name to help people understand it.”

“Okay?” he said.

“We’re a church,” she added.

“Oh,” he said.

Then he turned and walked out with a wave — that dismissive, cool, shrug and gesture universally popular among people who have it all together.

“Wow,” the woman turned and said to her colleague in the adjacent office, “He left so quickly that I’m not sure if he was interested in our matte finish, or our high gloss.”

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Two Men

Once there were two men, living at the same time, doing the same thing, thinking the same way and having the same result. It was a shocking similarity of a very different kind.

The first man grew up with a father who collected houses, and the time came when he too began to collect buildings of various kinds. Following his father, and using what he got from his father, he began collecting hotels, offices, casinos and malls. In short order, he owned a beautiful mess of loans, properties, bankruptcies, wives, divorces and children.

The second man grew up with a father who was a alcoholic, and the time came when the son too began to drink in excess. Following his father, and using what he got from his father, he became homeless and he began collecting shopping carts and wagons, stuffing them with trash of various kinds, covering them at night with tarps and blankets. In short order he owned a veritable wagon train, a massive amount of goods, a traveling entourage excluding several homeless companions.

The men never met, although they lived in the same city, and the first drove by the second on several occasions. Once they were even in the same store together and bought similar items.

Then one day, on the same day, at the same hour, the very same minute and the exact same second they both died.

Their relatives were informed, and when they came together to deal with the end, both families had the exact same problem — what to do with the stuff.

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The Archivist

It was night; chaos hung in the air. 

In the big room with no windows big boxes galloped up and down the rows of shelving,  a wooden wheelchair circled the room again and again. Hunched along the wall stacks of framed pictures watched and jeered. Huge envelopes lounged on the tables, stuffed with vibrating drawings and photos and maps. 

Now noise filled the room. 

Old pictures called out litanies of names, scrapbooks blurted out details about trips and events, sermons filled the air with a cacophony of moralisms and principles, letters confessed intimate details, board minutes droned on about buildings and faculty members and policies, yearbooks joked, documents concerning lawsuits presented defenses, lectures pontificated, financial records ciphered up sums.

By morning, from sheer exhaustion the room quieted, so that by the time she walked in, the space was calm. She wasn’t fooled.

Her commands were succinct and authoritative.

“Provenance!” she commanded one box, and it reshuffled.

“Original order!” she said to another and it was so.

“You are an aggregate,” she said, and boxes here and there flew open and gave up some of their contents to a pile on the table. 

“You are only significant because you a part of that,” she said to the wheelchair, and it rolled quietly to one corner. 

Now her commands came quickly and the room was alive again with movement. 

“Repository!”

“Record group!”

“Series!”

“File!”

 “Unit!”

 “Item!”

On and on she went, ruthlessly making demands, requiring movement, commanding the room. At the end of the day she dusted off her hands, one against the other, stared at the stacks for a brief moment, walked out of the room and locked the door. 

Nothing moved that night. 

The next day a man came to the room, unlocked the door, walked in and strolled down an aisle, looking at the labels on the boxes. He paused in front of one, took it down and carried it to a table. He opened it up and sorting through several items stopped and pulled out an envelope.

“Here you are,” he said, “right where I thought you would be.” 
 

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The Girl With Three Eyes

Once there was a girl with three eyes in her head; one looked back, one forward, one in. 

It was snock. 

During the first third of her life, she only used one eye, the one that looked forward. She looked forward to what she wanted and went after those things. She wanted a snick, she got it. She wanted a flippster —  got that. She wanted a ripple-rack, got that. She checked them off and racked them up — snick, flip, rip, and yet she felt schnicked. 

Then she hit the middle third of her life, and she began for the first time to user her backward looking eye.  She looked back, and she began to become acutely aware of what she hadn’t gotten. She hadn’t gotten the PDMS she wanted, though she could have. She had not snagged the snog she had hoped for, but she could have. She had never made it to Rockistan, had never experienced a snagaphone but she knew she could have. She felt snogged. 

Then she arrived, by using two of her eyes, at the final third of her life. She was now fully using her forward looking eye and her backward looking eye but slowly, she began to be aware of the views available to her through her inward looking eye. And so, looking in, she saw herself looking forward and backward.

“What is this?” she asked herself.

“This is us,” said herself to herself. “This is our past, this is our present, and this is our hoped for future.”

She was snibbed, and at the same time aware of being snibbed, for the first time in her life. And she saw that she was a snog divided, her eyes pulling her in three directions, backwards, forwards and inward. 

“Stop,” she said to her eyes, “fighting.”

They stopped. 

“Start,” she said, “working together.” 

They started, in an incipient but palpable fashion, working together.

Then she paused and saw with triplified vision, her own snick, flip and rip as if they existed in one was, will be and is. She snockified and snozzled in. 

And in that snozzling in, in that snocking up a beautiful, overarching wave of tranquilapam filled her. 

She was at last, for the first time, and for a moment, at snizzle with herself. 


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Body Parts

Once there was a man who gave away his arm because someone without an arm asked him for it.

Then he gave away a leg, because he happened to meet a man who didn’t have one.

The thing caught on in his own mind and he began to give away his body parts as if this were the most desirable and effortless virtue in the world — giving a lung, a finger, some skin, his hair.

At some point in this deconstruction process, his wife left him. “It’s disgusting!” she said the last time she saw him maimed in the hospital, and she divorced him and married a professional athlete.

But this didn’t deter him, and he gave away his body parts more and more. He gave an eye to a young girl. He gave a kidney to a teen. He gave an ear to a wounded vet, his other leg to another.

His family and friends grew concerned. “You have gone way to far with this,” they said. “You are going to kill yourself.”

“It is the most important thing I have ever done,” he said.

Then he gave away part of his brain. The surgeon who did the work warned him of the consequence, but he insisted that the disabled person he was giving part of his brain to needed it more than he did.

Of course the story, as it went along, was picked up by the news and he was heralded as both a hero and a monster.

However, one particular bio-technical company, specializing in advanced protheses, took a keen interest in him and decided to rebuild him. Funds were raised, research went forward, new ideas surfaced. He was excited about this, and with the same enthusiasm that he had given himself away, he let himself be rebuilt.

The company made him bionic legs, with built-in motors that gave him power and strength, even beyond what he had before, a powerful robotic arm, new skin to replace what he had lost, a new ear which was super sensitive to sounds far and near, a new adjustable eye and an onboard computer than integrated all his parts, even taking over some of the functions of the part of his brain that was missing.

With this, he became a kind of world phenomena, a bionic guru, and he drew large crowds wherever he went, speaking and teaching the most radical ideas about extreme generosity and extreme transformation.

He did a TED’s talk, he was wildly popular, but then as is so typical, he faded from the scene, especially as professional athletes, celebrities and the rich began to commonly and voluntarily purchase enhanced body parts to give them a superior edge in life, entertainment and sport. A devision of sports became popular called “Enhanced,” leading to more and more improvement in bionic ability and accomplishment.

After a time, the man was completely forgotten, and when he died, he was found in a dumpster. The police reported that he had none of his bionic parts on him, and that he was missing more of his natural body parts too, so much so that it took some effort to figure out even who he was, only a DNA test finally resolving his identity.

In the end, it came out that in the last few years he had given all his bionic parts to other people in need, and also that he had given away his remaining arm, remaining ear, remaining eye, his nose, and at the end pretty much the rest of his brain and his heart.

“Well, I guess he died for others, a piece at a time,” said his exwife who was asked by the media.

“Actually,” she added as she flounced out the door of her five star hotel to her new turbo-charged, hybrid Porsche, “He was insane!”

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The Jack Pole Fisherman and The Sea

Upon the throw and the yank, a huge, bright tuna flew out of the sea.

In the air, it said, “Really now, is this necessary?”

Then the jack pole tuna man said, “Really now, it is — for me it is.”

The man was far from where he had been born.

So,” said the sea, “You live, begin and end in me.”

Then the sea swelled and washed in over the stern of the boat, over the racks the man was standing in and over the man, up to his chest, over his cane pole, bent over the tuna, and it washed out again.

The tuna flipped in the wave and sprang onto the boat.

Sixty years passed.

A fishing boat came again to this place in the sea, just as the sun was setting, not with poles but with ashes, and with family and friends. It was a calm summer evening.

And standing in the stern of the boat, the son of a fisherman, out of a small box, threw his father’s ashes into the great, sloshing sea. And then the sons of the son of a fisherman of the sea threw flowers out of other small boxes onto the smooth water, the setting sun above, the white flower petals floating in a line out behind the boat.

For a moment the flowers were seen on the water, among the ashes, and then there was a flash of bright color as a calico bass took a minnow on the surface.

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Filed under Death, Uncategorized