The Science of Potency

Once, maybe, a girl found herself in a stark room.  It seemed bare, empty.  And yet, as she took a step, a wooden stand appeared.  On the stand was placed a delicate crystal vial.  The vase was cut with flower patterns, and the stopper a crystal leaf.  Its beauty was astounding, too lovely not to pick up and examine such exquisite craftsmanship, too intricate not to stretch fingers towards the stopper and lift it up.  As the girl did so, she bent her head toward the vessel, and found, arising from the opening, an aroma of purest rose.

              When she had breathed her fill, the girl took another step.  And as she did, another wooden stand appeared, with another vial, this one as intricate as the first.  She knew what to do.  Lifting the stopper, she did not even need to raise the bottle to her nose, for the smell of jasmine permeated her every sense.  When satiated with jasmine, the girl took another step, and then another.  Honeysuckle and gardenias, pansies and s…

The Prince of Small Intellect

Once upon a time there lived a princess and a prince.  The princess had an enormous brain—not in size, exactly, but rather in intellect—and she lived in a castle.  The prince, however, lived in a far distant land in an ensorcelled castle and had a brain the size of a pea—not in size, thank heavens, but in the amount of information it was capable of containing.While the princess spent her days thinking, the prince gave no time to thinking at all.If the princess was prone to feats of reason and grave intellectual debate, the prince was unaware that such things were possible.

The princess spent her days among the finest scholars in all her land, writing treatises and grave moral thoughts, and ruling with careful well-reasoned judgement according to the ancient principles of justice.The prince, on the other hand, spent his days wandering the garden within the ensorcelled castle, talking to mice, and putting bits of sticks and grass in his mouth to see if they were cheese.
One …

The Fairy and the Gnome

Hazel stood on a jutted rock staring down, down, down into the canyon below.  Her hands were on her hips and she was frowning.

              There was something down there making a cacophony of sound.  Down in the depths of the basin.  In only a few minutes, the dawn would hit the rocks, and fill it with a warm rust-colored light.  The glinting navy of the winding river would light up like gold.  And hanging bows of rich green foliage would suddenly appear, decorating the canyon walls in long drips as though they were emeralds hung from chains.  It was Hazel's job to take care of all of it, including finding out who or what was making such a terrible racket.

              Hazel was growing impatient.

              Whatever was down there was making so much noise that in a few seconds she would have little choice.  Her foot began to tap.

             Then she dove.

The Lesson

'There's something about eighty,' said the old woman, 'that frees one from mortality.  How strange to think there was once a time when I feared death.  But that was only a symptom.  For what I feared was the metaphysically unknown.  A life filled with 'withouts.'  And now, I know what my life has been, and there is no need to fear 'withouts'—in fact there never was.

'My days are narrow things to my age-young dreams.  And the strangest thing of all is that I am content to sit and talk to you, cat.'

The Fairies Remedy a Sick Day

From his bedroom window, Jack could see a frolic of fun laid out before him like a feast of all his favorite foods.  Balls were kicked and thrown.  Ants were burned (and eaten).  Dirt was piled, and then knocked down as great clouds of dust swirled their small tornadoes about the air.  Hoses were sprayed to the tune of glorious shrieks.  And Jack could participate in none of it.

  This was because Jack was ill.  And illness meant one horrible thing: fun was forbidden.  Worst of all, the horrid truth was that even if he had been allowed, he would not have participated.  That was how fuzzy and painful his head was, and how bad his cough, and how achy his body.  Nothing made him feel better, and that was a miserable thought.  Thus, he had spent the day in his bed, in a daze of hazy sleep, his head pulsing with un-expelled mucus, in general misery.
How annoying for Jack, then, when he awoke suddenly to a cleared head and easy breathing, only to look outside his window and fin…