Written by my grandson David Saginor
Fiction Writing 260
Class Assignment: Write a fable with a moral

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There was once an old man; a holy man, a wise man. He was sitting along the bank of a river, silently in deep meditation. As time passed, a young boy wandered down the path that led from the local village to that very spot by the river where the man sat meditating. Hearing the sound of someone coming, the old man opened his eyes and began to watch the boy as he knelt down and washed his face in the cool waters, and then saw him start to feed the nearby fish with some bread he had brought within his pocket.

The old man was not just any man, but he was an Earth spirit. He inhaled deeply, then gave a great exhale and causing a mighty wind to blow about the area. The boy stumbled down, caught up within the swirl. The wind had pierced the soul of the boy and the man could see within him. He saw the struggles he faced with his family and himself. He decided to reveal himself to the boy, and stepped from the spirit plane onto the one we know. “Hey, you, boy!” said the old man. “I can offer you anything you want, anything. But you must be willing to sacrifice one day to come of your life; therefore, never being able to live that day.” With that he simply added, “Yes or no?”

The boy was shocked at first by the sudden appearance of this man, but what really confused him was this bizarre offer. However, he had heard of stories of beneficent old travelers, and decided to consider the offer.

……..“Are you a genie?” asked the boy.
……..“I am what I am.” replied the old man. “I am nothing more than you, than this Earth.”
……..“And you can offer me anything?” asked the boy.
……..“Anything your heart desires.” said the old man, raising one, cautionary finger in the air. “But my conditions must be met.”

It seemed to be a simple trade: a day of life to come for the fulfillment of his heart’s desire. The boy’s mind quickly came to the thought of gold, so as he may extricated from the poverty within his village. It would be good, thought the boy, to have gold. He was just about to speak, thereby finalizing his wish, when he remembered something that he had heard a long time ago. His father once told him of how he met his mother. It was because he had gone to work at the rice paddies on a day when his friends wanted to go gamble at the local bazaar. He remember his father saying, that if he had sacrificed that day to fulfill his selfish wish to go off with his friends, he would have never met his beautiful mother who had stopped there that day to trade with his boss.

Almost immediately the boy responded. “I would never sacrifice one day of my life, for in that one day anything can happen. The relinquishment of one day could result in a sadly incomplete life, one even less complete than someone’s that had not been diminished, but not even lived to its fullest. With the instant gratification of my heart’s desire, in the end, it would not be worth it. I would never know what would have occurred on that day, and my sacrificing it may do untold damage.”

The old mystic smiled at him, wagging his finger in the direction of the boy as though he were satisfied. “And today you have lived that day, boy.” He then turned and left.

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