Parable of the Three Mansions

by Dan on July 18, 2009

Here’s a little story I wrote to help illustrate some of the concepts I talk about in this blog.  Enjoy.

In his travels, Leo came to the port of Belania. This was the richest city in all the mainland. Everyone born in Belania was considered by all to be a child of the angels, and blessed with great power beyond this world. The reputation of a Belanian man reached all the ends of the earth, and many traveled far and wide to praise and give gifts.

The women of nearby Slavea were the most beautiful of all women. They were perpetual virgins, who could carry no diseases, and never aged more than a half dozen years past adulthood. The women of Slavea would come from house to house to please all the men, and revel in their majesty. Anything the men would desire, they would fulfill, and thank the owner of the house for the privilege.

While walking through the wonders of luscious abundance, Leo stopped by a hill of three beautiful mansions. Each man was sitting on his porch in a comfortable chair.

The first house stretched into the sky. Its walls were encrusted in pearls, and along walkway stretched a beautiful royal blue carpet.

Leo said hello to the owner of the house and asked, “Who is your favorite Slavean woman?”

The owner of the house hung his head in sadness. “It has been close to a decade since one has come inside.”

Leo replied, “But all men of Belania are considered kings to Slavean women. How is this so?”

The owner of the house said, “It is my pet sindra over there.” He pointed to a seven foot tall monkey-like creature trembling in the corner. He was smelly, bony, and not very pleasing to look at. He had dirty teeth, and sunken eyes.

Leo looked at the sindra and put forth a question, “May I ask, what do you feed him?”

The owner answered, “Oh, the usual diet of insults, disgust, and disdain. I let him know how bad he is and how little he’s accomplished in life. He gobbles it right up, and always wants more. Of course it’s not helpful when the Slavean women come.”

Leo listened and asked, “What happens then?”

The owner answered, “The spoiled brat has gotten so used to me feeding him, that he asks for the same treatment from the women, of course. They walk to my gate, and my sindra walks up, snarls, and won’t let them inside. He barks at them until they feed him insults, disgust and disdain, and by the time he’s fed, the women have wandered off to the next house.”

Leo nodded, “And so it is,” and walked on.

He came to the second house, a mansion full of wonder. There were exquisite statues of angels, a stunning marble wall, and fire lights that burned without fuel.

Leo came to the owner of this house, and asked the same question as in the first house, “Who is your favorite of the Slavean women?”

The owner answered with a sigh, “It has been a very long time since one has come inside. I’ve begun to forget what it feels like, unfortunately.”

Leo looked around at the breathtaking mansion, freshly cut grass, and gleaming window glass. “Why have they not come?”

The owner answered, “It’s my pet sindra, beautiful thing, isn’t he?” Leo looked at the seven foot monkey like creature in the corner. He had gorgeous color, gleaming white teeth, and soft fur. He was smiling and jumping with glee.

Leo asked “What do you feed him to get him this way?”

The owner proudly answered, “The best diet anyone could have, compliments, praise, and I make sure to tell him how much better he is than all the other sindra in the land.”

Leo went further, “Well, then, how do the Slavean women like him?”

“Ayy, that’s the problem,” the owner began. “My sindra is spoiled so he comes up to them and wishes to get the same compliments, praise and all else they can offer. He gets very close to them, desperately barking for more of his favorite food, and scares them off. He comes back dejected, weaker, and even smaller, so of course I feed him again like a good master until he’s well again.”

Leo nodded, “And so it is,” and walked on.

Finally, Leo arrived at an equally beautiful mansion as the first two. There were well pruned trees, a rockbed waterfall, and sweet smelling flowers. The owner of this house was sitting in his chair, and gave a friendly nod to Leo coming in.

“And who is your favorite Slavean woman?” Leo asked.

The owner answered, “I love them all. Each has immeasurable beauty, yet each expresses it in her own way. It’s always a new adventure, and I relish every one.”

Leo smiled. “Have you no pet sindra?”

The owner answered, “Oh yes, I don’t think I’ll ever lose him. I’ve tried to set him free, but he always comes back.”

Leo looked around, “Where is he, and what do you feed him?”

The owner chuckled, “You have answered your own question, my lad. I don’t feed him at all. He was three feet tall at one time, but then I just decided he had grown enough. Slowly, but surely he got smaller and smaller. Sometimes I can hear his cries for food of any kind, be it praise, or disapproval, but I just smile at him and let him be. He is now smaller than a blade of grass, so the Slavean women just step over him. Some of them think I don’t even have one,” he chuckled again.

Leo smiled more brightly.

The owner said, “I won’t keep you, but it’s like this with more than just the Slaveans. The mine diggers of Shadow Pines come to bring me gold and diamonds. They have more than enough for every house in Belania many times over, but there are few that will let them enter. It is this way with the Gypsies of the Far North as well, who bring potions for immaculate health.

“We like to think we own the Sindra, but some would say they rule us, especially when they grow so large. Every once in a while I forget and let him have a little food, and he starts growing again. But I can always just put him back on his old diet, and he’s fine. Well I must get back to the festivities. Good day, lad.”

Leo smiled again. “And so it is,” and walked on.

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