"A Fable”

            Paluk—has there been a better father, a worse? His children loved him, for he was often home to play with them. He spoiled his wife with precious glassware and stones only found in the deepest sand.

            They puzzled of course at how Paluk could afford such things, or find them at all. But their joy outweighed their curiosity.

            One day Paluk’s eldest son espied him strolling in the market. The boy rant to greet his father. Coming up behind him, he saw Paluk deftly cut a Hunter’s pouch from its beltstraps.

            The boy dashed home in tears, inconsolable by his mother, who listened as only mothers listen to boys’ fancies. Before Paluk came home, the boy went to his parents’ bedroom and emptied the jewelry box  overflowing with glass of the deepest, strangest colors. Colors only found in the earth. He took the treasures and stashed them beneath his bed, secure in his sense of justice.

            When Paluk arrived home, his wife told him of the missing items. Mother and father questioned the boy, and soon found the treasures. Paluk sat his son down and explained the immoralities of stealing. Soon, the mother had finished cooking the Jackal meat Paluk had brought home. As punishment, Paluk sent his son to bed without supper.

            Hunger tore at the boy’s stomach. He saw a man carrying a parcel of meat down the road, and considered taking it from his hands. Before he leapt out his window, Paluk called to him from behind.

            “Instead of taking that man’s meat, would you prefer some of our own?”

            The boy slept well on a full stomach.

           

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