Tag Archives: modern fables

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 Insult

“You tormented raccoon!” she said, floating off the kitchen floor.

“You rabid cockroach,” he responded, floating like a helium ballon to the ceiling light. He hung there in midair.

“Demonic feline,” she said rising and circling him.

“Diseased bat,” he called coming face-to-face to her by means of a soft arm flap.

Hovering together in the kitchen, they took hands and free fell giggling, in formation, to the floor. They bounced softly off the tile, and then tilting, they helicoptered into the front room.

They separated. She wafted over the table lamp and tossed off, “You psychopathic possum!”

From near the ceiling he chortled back, “Demented camel!”

She rose in the air to meet him, and eye-to-eye,  in the cathedral vault they tickled each other, laughed hilariously, took each others hands again and tumbled softly from this great height onto the couch. Leaning back on the cushions, they moved closer together and watched some TV — with caramel popcorn, dark chocolate, lime bars, chai tea, warm blankets and fluffy cats on their laps and all around.

She reached over and ate some of the popcorn out of his bowl.

“Beastly beast!” he muttered.

“You wingless termite,” she reparteed.

“Thou field,” he turned to her, “thou stone, thou clod, thou summer dust thou!”

They both laughed. She touched his cheek, and then pulling up the blanket that covered their legs they settled in for the next show.

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Filed under Love

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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Filed under change

Through the Roof

It was surprising how quickly they were on the roof.

It seems like one moment they were at the curb, then in the yard, then on the roof.

And why? She knew immediately. They were coming for her. She could hear them ripping the concrete roof tiles up, pounding with their hammers, tearing at the wood.

And she knew what would come next. She had played it out in her mind, every last, horrific, terrible detail. They would fall crashing through the ceiling, fall heavily upon her with all their weight, screaming, pounding her with their hammers, pounding nails into the center of her forehead. And she would run, under the bed, with the nails sticking out of her head, and they would drag her back out, and it would end that way, them over her, blood everywhere.

Bang, bang, bang, went the hammers. She jumped off the couch to the floor and threw up on the carpet.

Then the door opened, and her master entered, and said gently, “Oh, poor thing, it will be alright.  They would never hurt a little, soft, furry thing like you. They are just fixing the roof.”

And she relaxed — until they came again the next day with their hammers.

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Filed under Fear

The Magician

Once a country blundered along in the typical unjust and oppressive fashion until it eventually came to be led by a particularly powerful leader in the possession of deep magic.

His power came to him out of the hard things he experienced in his younger years. Once he was beaten for trying to save the life of a thief. He grew in perspicacity.

Another time he was stabbed because he took the blame for a friend’s violence. His prescience increased. With each of his hard experiences he gained arcane knowledge into the ways of the soul.

He experienced the contempt and scorn of authorities and suffered the pity of his peers. These experiences did not make him vengeful; they made him compassionate, and they gave him his deep magic, so that when he eventually came to power, he did not weld authority through laws and the courts but through intuitions, subtle stratagems and situational ironies.

Under his leadership, one citizen became very rich by exploiting his workers, and so the magician-leader, through deep magic, deceived the man and led him into poor investments. All his wealth was lost. Then the magician gave him a way to become rich again, and after this the citizen became very altruistic and generous.

This irony went undetected by the populace. Another citizen secretly killed some good people. Seeing this, the magician blinded him, left him to brood, then healed him. The man spent his life serving others.

Inexplicably the leader-magician fired a member of his cabinet. He saw ahead that one day the man would betray the state. He replaced him with a woman with no experience in government but deep experience in conflict resolution; she excelled.

He appointed another woman to a high position in the courts. Unfortunately she betrayed her office, but the offense was forgiven by the magician and the woman was put into an even higher place. The general populace was disturbed, but the forgiven leader excel in her new role. She became incredibly loyal to the leader and the country.

Another man, a rogue doctor, duped his patients by telling them they had diseases that they didn’t have and then prescribing power remedies that caused them great expenses and physical suffering. Through these stratagems he became very rich and by means of his powerful lawyers was not adequately punished.

In this case, the magician-ruler used his magic to deceive the doctor’s own doctor. He diagnosed the rogue physician with a terrible disease — that he didn’t really have — and then prescribed the very same terrible remedies to the punished doctor that he had described to his hapless victims. The rogue doctor gradually wasted away.

None of the magician’s strategies were discovered, and so after a time, thinking that their leader was negligent, that he ignored good and failed to punish evil, the citizens rose up and rebelled. They removed the magician from rule over them, grumbling that his magic was useless, and they began to take matters of vengeance and punishment into their own hands. They brought the former leader to trial, accused him of dark magic and executed him.

Then they wrote new laws, increased the role of the military and police, fortified the courts and built new prisons. But the problem was that without the deep magic of their former leader, they couldn’t figure out who was good and who was evil, nor could they determine what punishments and rewards would be effective in changing the behavior of citizens.

After a time, the entire country fell back into the traditional mode of justice, and evil began to thrive again precisely as it always had, within the system, in the most traditional manner possible, respectable, acceptable and particularly harmful to all but the most powerful.

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Filed under Leadership

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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Filed under Understanding

The Reversal

She took it home, bathed it, fed it, and made a bed for it in a little room — to make it feel safe. It didn’t feel safe. So, therefore, and nonetheless she gave it 100 baths, 500 sleeps, 1,000 meals and practically exactly 10,000 soft hugs.

The lower life forms recover slowly, if ever, but will seldom enough, if tended to and more than somewhat almost. This is true of the higher ones too.

However, things tend to reverse when given attention and to shift sideway or even flip. Or if not, then maybe it is simply the case that the distinctions made in the first place do not turn out to be correct after all.

Regardless, one day the higher form herself unsettled, lost her way, began to gush, squint her eyes, raise her voice, agitate, dis-say, un-hinge and down-speak to one of the higher life forms in her family.

Then it was most certainly and precisely that the lower life form crept unnoticed up to the higher life forms side, and taking her arm in its mouth, held it, and looked her in the eyes. Time and care passed between them.

It seemed clear, obvious, at this time and in this exact moment that the higher life form was to drop back, hold in, stop, calm, seek safety as directed, somewhat immediately and acutely softly.

She did, almost and enough, at that time and the following time too. After that the two lived together in relative harmony, caring for each other as needed, not really sure anymore about distinctions between things higher and lower.

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Filed under Recovering