(A Folk Tale)
So let it be written
Long ago, before the time of your great grandfather’s grandfather, KU-PAIR The Far-Sighted made a journey through the forest in search of a place to make his village. By and by, he arrived at a beautiful mountain, whereupon he exercised his gift of Far-Sight, and said, “This land is good. Into this land will come peoples from the north and the south and from the east and the west; many kinds of people who shall live in harmony with the deer, the bear, the fish and the eagle.” Thereupon he drove his staff into the rocky ground and proclaimed, “So let it be done; so let it be written.” And his scribe drew runes upon three parchments, making those words into law.
And so, KU-PAIR The Far-Sighted gathered rock and mortar, logs and nails; and built upon the mountain a village. He blew his trumpet loud and long and lo, the people came. They came from the north and the south; and from the east and the west to settle in the village made by KU-PAIR The Far-Sighted. And they said, one and all, “This land is good. We shall dwell here in harmony among the deer, the bear, the fish and the eagle.” And for many years they did so. As their numbers increased, they built temples upon the lands provided by KU-PAIR, and their dwellings multiplied. And it was good.
Three generations came to pass. KU-PAIR The Far-Sighted gathered the villagers and announced that he would be leaving them to go on a long journey. And the people wept. But KU-PAIR admonished them and said, “All has been provided for your comfort in the village. The village is good.” And the people rejoiced. But then, KU-PAIR turned his eye upon the village elders and DECLARED: “I leave the village in your care. You must nurture all that has been provided.” And he continued: “The waters shall be kept clean—the waters coming in and the waters going out. The roads and paths — These shall be kept smooth and useful. And the meeting places—Their rooftops shall be kept so that by thunder and rain they shall NOT be breached. The temples and dwellings shall be made to blend with the forest – and all these shall be made and kept according to the runes on The Three Parchments.” And so, without further ado, KU-PAIR The Far-Sighted handed over The Three Parchments to the village elders and set out on further adventures.
And all was well in the village…for awhile. But after a hand-span of years, the elders turned away from the ways of KU-PAIR. And the roads and paths became rough and full of holes; and the rooftops of the meeting places were breached by thunder and lightning. Dwellings were made that did not blend with the forest, but were grand and gaudy. And though the waters coming in remained clean and wholesome, the waters going out did not (causing much distress for the deer, the bear, the fish, and the eagle.)
Then, there arrived one day a personage, fair of face, gigantic in presence, and possessing the gift of counting—the counting of dwellings and the counting of villagers; the counting of all things of value right down to the last bottle of wine and the last horseradish.
Upon learning this, the elders said, “She must be a Goddess because she has the wonderful gift of counting. We think this gift of counting is greater than the gift of far-seeing. Therefore, we must make sacrifices to this Goddess.”
And thereupon the elders approached the Goddess and made sacrifices to her. Each and every one of the elders gave to the Goddess the powers that had been given to them by KU-PAIR. And the Goddess said, “This is good.” So, the elders told the villagers that they, too, must make sacrifices to the Goddess. But the villagers knew not how to do this. So the elders asked the Goddess: “What sacrifice do you require of the villagers?” And the Goddess replied: “A yearly tithing that shall maintain me and my minions in the manner befitting a Goddess.” And so it was done, and some of the villagers grumbled about this largesse, but they were silenced by the elders and told, “You know nothing of these matters.”
Then one day the Goddess brought strangers to the village. These strangers knew not about living in harmony with the deer, the bear, the fish and the eagle. And these strangers said, “This village is NOT good. Those who cling to the old ways of KU-PAIR are wrong. We must change these things.”
And it came to pass that the Goddess was delivered of a child. And to this child, a name was given: CALISTA-MEDUSA-PANDORA. And the Goddess said, “It is a good name, but cumbersome. Therefore, I shall call this child “SEE-EM-PEE.”
And the Goddess proclaimed, “This child shall rule over all of you. You shall bow to this child and make sacrifices to it. Come all ye and look upon the face of SEE-EM-PEE.” And the people came. They came from all over the village to look upon the face of SEE-EM-PEE. Some came from the north and from the south. More of them came from the east and the west.
And the people looked upon the face of SEE-EM-PEE and whispered among themselves, whereupon a few villagers shouted angrily, “The babe is UGLY!” But the Goddess and the elders proclaimed, “The Child is Beautiful! Look upon the face of SEE-EM-PEE and Behold the Beauty!”
And the Goddess demanded the offering of the Three Parchments given to the elders by KU-PAIR in days of old, to be sacrificed to assure the health of SEE-EM-PEE. At this demand, some of the elders balked saying, “These Three Parchments are The Law. Why would you take them from us?” And the Goddess replied, “Those Three Parchments are of the old ways. I am of the future. Behold! In return for the Three Parchments I shall give you One Hundred and Sixteen Parchments!”
“We must confer,” said the Chief Elder. And the elders conferred, and they meditated, and they argued. Three elders boldly declared, “Three Parchments are enough for any village.” The other four elders, however, did not agree. “Surely,” they argued, “One Hundred and Sixteen Parchments are of more value than Three Parchments, especially considering the cost of parchment paper.”
And so, the elders gave over the Three Parchments that were given to them by KU-PAIR The Far-Sighted. And the Goddess kept her promise to the elders and gave them One Hundred and Sixteen Parchments. Later that night, the Goddess burned The Three Parchments as an offering to her ugly child.
And the elders rejoiced, for now they had almost forty times as many parchments as before! But when the villagers looked at the runes etched on the parchments, some scratched their shaggy heads while others rubbed their bald pates and each of them said, “These runes tell of new laws that we do not need. There are laws about where to put rocks and where to plant trees; and the runes tell of tiny dwellings arranged in circles.” And as they continued to read the runes on the One Hundred and Sixteen Parchments, they came upon images unlike any they had ever seen: Images of broad roads and of clusters of dwellings; of market places selling things that villagers do not want. And they knew these new laws were not in harmony with the deer, the bear, the fish and the eagle.
And so, after they had read the runes and seen the images, some of the villagers approached the Goddess, and with trembling voices, humbly petitioned for the return of the Three Parchments in exchange for the One Hundred and Sixteen Parchments. But the Goddess laughed and said,
“A Trade is a Trade
and a Deal is a Deal.
What is written on Parchment
Cannot be Repealed!”
And then the villagers understood and they became angry and took up their torches and their pitchforks. And they marched through the night, carrying their torches and their pitchforks all the way to the palace where they demanded a return to the old ways. They came from the north and the south; and from the east and the west. And they brought with them feathers from the goose and pitch from the cooking pits.
Upon witnessing this, the elders ran to the Goddess and prostrated themselves before her: “The Villagers are Revolting!” they cried out in terror.
“Yes,” said the Goddess. I have always known them to be revolting. That’s because I am a Goddess!”
And that, my dear friends, is how the village elders acquired the One Hundred and Sixteen Parchments.
Note: This may be copied and disseminated (to the north and to the south; and to the east and to the west). Any resemblance to any characters, either living or deceased is purely coincidental.