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Library: Lessons of life


Author: druff
Date:Nov 15 2005

On a quiet autumn evening at a simple farm just outside Shadowkeep, a boy
is playing with his pinecone-cows before a crackling fireplace. In the
background, the man of the house, the father, is settling down for a
relaxing pipefull of homegrown tobacco on his trusty old rocking chair.

- 'Time for little Timmy to go to bed!', boomed a voice from the kitchen.
- 'But mom, it's not that late yet, I still have to milk Pinky and bring in
   the sheep! Just a bit longer...' the boy begged.
- 'No, it's past your bedtime. John, help Timmy clean out the toys and take
   him to bed.' the voice stated firmly.
- 'But honey, I just sat here and lit ...' the father started to plead.
- 'NOW!'

So that settled that. The toys neatly piled in the corner and the boy tightly
tucked in, the little rascal asked for a bedtime story. The father however 
would much rather get back to continue his own interrupted quality time.

- 'Storystorystorystorystorystorystorystory!'
-' ok ok OK! Sheesh! Hmm, ok, let's see, this one is about three brothers...'

- 'Once upon a time there were three brothers living on a farm near a big
city. The oldest of the brothers was ambitious and outgoing. He left the farm
and went to the city, dreaming of a better life in the high society. Being
good with words, women and people in general, he quickly climbed the social
ladder in the city. He was a good singer and dancer, and was a common quest
in parties and picnics. Life seemed to smile at him, he felt like he was at
the top of the world. Until, one day, it all ended when he was caught pants
down with the baron's married daughter. He was tortured, his tongue was cut
out, eyes poked out, his knees cracked and he was thrown to the castle jail,
where he withered for five years until he died of parasites he got from a
dead rat he ate.'

- 'So, are you saying you shouldn't aim too high or you can fall twice as
   hard?' the boy asked.
- 'No, just wait, I wasn't finished...', said the father and continued.

- 'The youngest brother was a hard working man who always dreamed of a life at
sea. He ran off to enlist as a crew member on a merchant vessel, and began a
life of a sailor. He worked hard and learnt the trade, and one day he got his
own small boat and started his own business. Eventually he had managed to
build a profitable shipping company and had accumulated a nice wealth along
the way. He married a fine lady and lived with her and their three children
in a big mansion by the sea. Everything was peachy, until one day pirates
landed on his beach and raided his mansion, burning it to the ground. They
stole all his possessions, raped his wife, and killed all the children who
were trying to stop them. Shocked and traumatized, the wife coulnd't take it
and took her own life too. The man, confused and his mind utterly cracked,
took a small dinghy and rowed to the sea that night and was never seen again.'

- 'Umm.. eh, so...' stuttered the boy baffled.
- 'Wait, let me finish...' replied the father.

- 'The middle brother stayed at the farm and helped his parents. When his
father died he took over the farm and took care of his mom. He eventually
married the miller's stocky daughter and they lived a simple, unadorned yet
happy life at the farm. They had a son and a daughter, and they made by with
what the farm produced.'

- 'So, they enjoyed the simple things in life and that's what's ultimately
   rewarding? the boy reasoned.
- 'Well, actually, their cattle died of an epidemic, their lands were seized
   by the sheriff since they were not able to pay their taxes. And one cold
   winter night the whole family was eaten by wolves when they were searching
   for firewood.' the father concluded.

- '...' the boy blinked.
- 'You see, the lesson is, no matter who you are and regardless of your
   choices in life, life will always find a way to crush your dreams, chew you
   up and spit out the bones.'

- 'FOR GOD'S SAKES JOHN!!' yelled an intimidating figure from the doorway.

- 'No playtime with mom tonight either?' whispered the boy.
- 'You're learning fast my son, you're learning fast.'