Sunday, October 13, 2013

Karf's fable

One day a gathering was called of all the tricksters. Karf the Monkey and Brer Rabbit and Jacob the Coyote and Loki the Raven and many others, all the tricksters of the folk were sent an invitation for a feast by the Lord and Lady of the Folk. 
Of course they did not go. Some did not come because they thought it would be a great trick to play upon the Lord and Lady but most suspected a trick themselves. All the world's tricksters in one place at one time? That smelled like a trap. So the day came and all the tricksters were as busy as ever taunting, tantalizing, tormenting the hard working folk. 
Six times this happened. The Lord and Lady sent invitations to all the tricksters inviting them to a banquet in their honor. Six times they did not come, chuckling to themselves as they pictured all the woodfolk and plainfolk and junglefolk and desertfolk crouched around the door waiting to pounce on monkey and rabbit and fox and coyote and raven and the door never opening. In fact, so amusing was this thought that one day, monkey thought to himself, "it is really a shame for these fine folk to be going to all this trouble to make asses of themselves all these times and i never there to witness it." So he determined in his mind that the next time this happened he would sneak in among the folk in a disguise. He was very excited about this plan and immediately spent much time working on his costume. He gave it skin with no fur except on top, and he couldn't find enough material to give it long legs on front, so he gave it arms and hands like his and he walked only on two legs. It had no claws because he did not want to scare anyone and have them look too closely, no fangs or tail or antler or horn, nothing dangerous looking at all. Perfectly harmless. Then he waited.
And waited.
And waited but no invitation came. Now really, this was too much! Snub someone only six times and they give up on you? He had really thought the Lord and Lady were much more genial and mannered!
One day while he was stewing over this slight to his honor, he saw all the folk of his village going together somewhere and he called out from his tree, "Did someone die?" No, they said, no one has died. "Was there a fire?" he asked next. No, they said, there was no fire they knew of. "It is not harvest time, i know." No, they agreed, it was not yet time for harvest. "Then how is it, all the fine folk are leaving the village, fields and storehouses empty and unguarded?" About this they hemmed and hawed and wouldn't meet his eye and he could tell they were quite embarrassed but gave no answer. A few said they were just going for a walk, one said he was visiting a cousin far away, another just looked at the sun and said he really must be going and they all walked on together. This was too much for monkey, he wished them well and stayed on his branch until they were out of sight and then he ran to get his costume. A little while later he fell in behind them to see what this was all about.
After much walking, and being joined by many more folk from many more villages, they came to the homely house of the Lord and Lady of the Folk. "They have called a banquet for all the folk and have not invited me!" thought monkey. This thought did not anger him as you well know, it made him chuckle inside his furless suit. Because he had tricked them, he was there anyway! You cannot trick a trickster! Inside the house, which always looks bigger than the outside and yet the perfect size for whatever gathering, there were tables laid out with every kind of tasty treat imaginable. Yet the deeper into the center, the closer one got to the head table, the better the tasties became. Monkey was not greedy but he said to himself, "it is really my job to know what the finest eat because they are the ones most in need of humbling and therefore most in need of my skills." So he casually blended in with this group here and then that one there until he had worked his way to the center table. The Lord and Lady's table. Finding a seat available, he thought, "why not? I'm already here."
Two other things were different about this table, the first was that each place had a single gift, beautifully wrapped before it. This is probably what kept monkey from noticing the other strange thing about this table. For seated all around it were nothing but furless, two-legged creatures that looked a lot like his costume. Monkey however only had eyes for the present. "It is really my job to know what it is so i can craft a more perfect trick for the owner later," he told himself and then started peeling the wrapping.
Inside was a lego set.
Around the table, fox in his costume, raven in his costume, coyote in his costume, rabbit in his costume and all the tricksters of the world who had not been invited were opening their gifts as well and finding toys which would consume all their time too. So busy were they with their gifts that they did not notice when the Lord and Lady joined them. They did not notice all the relieved and amused smiles among the folk. They did not notice the party much at all. When it ended they thanked their hosts and took their gifts home and they forgot to take off their suits. And to this day, all the folk know the tricksters by their furless skin and harmless looking claws and fangs and avoid them carefully... when they have to, which is rare because the tricksters are all too busy playing with their toys

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