Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Good Reads

So I was given a link to a virtual bookshelf site to track and review all the books you've read. I personally think this is a great idea, mostly because I'm a big fan of knowing what I've read (my memory's terrible) and seeing a big fancy list.

I signed up, and I'll probably have a permalink up along the sidebar. If you want, feel free to play along and join up. I like seeing what other people are reading.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Bull and the Cookie - A Fable

( To Kris, who asked and shall receive. )

Once, long ago, in a small village there lived a Bull and a Cookie. The Bull was a massive creature who prideful and tempermental. But he was quiet and dependable in his own way in that many of the farmers relied upon him. The Cookie was baked by the bakerwoman that morning, and was cheerful and perfect in every way.

That day the Cookie was out for a stroll, examining the world with its new sugar-coated eyes, when it spotted the Bull standing eating its lunch. The Cookie came up to him and offered a cheerful hello.

“Go away,” said the Bull. “I have too many things to do during the day to worry about the greeting of someone so unimportant.”

“I am important!” insisted the Cookie.

The Bull was unconvinced. “I pull plows and mate with cows. I graze and haul and allow myself to even be ridden from time to time. Without me, the crops would not be sowed. And if they were sowed, they could not be brought in from the harvest. And if they were, they could not turn the millstone to grind the grain into bread. People would starve and die. That is what it means to be important. You are not important.”

The Cookie threw back it’s doughy head and laughed. “You’re so mistaken. I’ll prove to you that I’m important. Come!” And the Cookie led the Bull to where a small orphan was sitting. He was all alone in the world, and wept with hunger and sadness. The Cookie bid the Bull to wait. “Watch this!”

And then the Cookie went over to the young orphan and offered itself to him. The orphan was initially hesitant but then suddenly grabbed the Cookie and gobbled him up. His tears dried and he even smiled in delight. There was such a look of peace on his face, and he whispered to nobody in particular “Thank you.”

The Bull was enraged by this. He did all the work with no thanks whatsoever, and this Cookie had in doing nothing but existing received more gratitude than the Bull had ever received. In a blind anger, the Bull charged the orphan where he sat and trampled him to death, Cookie and all. When he was done, he snorted. “I am indeed the most important. More important than the Cookie and the humans.”

The people in the village saw what had happened and surrounded the Bull. “Murderer!” they cried. “Monster!” The Bull could not fight them all off as the angry crowd swept over the Bull. They tied him down. They cursed and spat at him. And then finally, the Matron of the orphanage came and with a farmer’s guidance slit the throat of the Bull. “No Bull is worth the life of a child,” the crowd said as they dispersed, hauling the Bull to the butchers to be turned into meat.

Despite the Bull’s meat, soon it was time to plant the grains and there was no Bull to be had. They planted by hand, and it took every person and twice as long. Then come harvest time, it took every person and took three times as long, and some of the wheat had gone to rot in the time it took. And when they went to grind the grain, it took every strong man to turn the wheel, and only slowly was bread made while a bitter winter descended on the village.

Without the Bull, many people in the village died, and even those that remained went hungry. Nobody was left in the town who remembered the day that the Cookie had enraged the Bull. Instead, many spoke of the Bull who ruined a town and of the crowd who were too blind to see their need. Yet, when all was said and done, who could ever say which was more important: the Bull, or the Cookie?