Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A parable for the ages

As I read to Leo from Alexander the Great the other night, we came to a chapter where Alexander climbs deep into the Caucasses mountains and comes to the cave where Prometheus is chained. As they speak, Prometheus tells Alexander a tale:

There was once a son of a merchant who lived well in a small town. One night he dreamed of a well in a garden with black roses, in a village far, far away. And at the bottom of the well, he learned there was a sack of gold. So, he decided to pack up his belongings and set out in search of this sack of gold in the far off garden. He traveled far, and he suffered many set-backs. He was set upon by brigands; he became ill; he lost his belongings; he endured hunger and exhaustion. At long last he arrived in the far off village. But there, he was viewed as a poor beggar, and as the poor receive a poor welcome throughout the world, so did he in this village. He was picked up by the local authorities for disturbing the peace. However there, his luck changed a bit, and one of the soldiers took pity on him, remarking that his behavior was not that of a typical beggar. And to this man the merchant's son told his story, from where he came from, to his dream, and to his arrival in this state. The soldier looked at him and laughed. Only two people follow such dreams, fools or children, or both, said he. I took had a dream once of a well with carved lions atop it, and at the bottom of the well was a sack of gold. But I put that aside to live in the real world. The soldier then gave the merchant's son such as was necessary to cloth him properly and set him on his way back home.

Once home, the young man went straight to his house, and through this to his garden, and there, he took a ladder and put it down his well, atop which there were carved stone lions, and at the bottom of the well he found the sack of gold, and from this point, lived comfortably ever after.

When I told this to my mother the following day, she said to me, "so, where is home for you?" Good question. Where is my personal garden?

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