Sunday, September 03, 2006

This too shall pass...

There was a blight across the land many years old. The silos were empty. The animals were glassy-eyed. The children wandered ghost-like through the streets as though time had stopped. Carriages collided in the dust. The river became a stream, which became a creek, and then a trickle and finally the bed was dry. What caused this time of bleakness was well known throughout the kingdom. Twas a royal blockage brought on by festering nephrolithiases, also known as urolithiases and the renal calculi. In short, the king had a kidney stone.

And for many weeks the king did huff and hanker down and scream in agony. But the stone would not budge. The mightiest doctors in the kingdom came to the castle with their solvents, their probes, their yoga positions, and their lasers. And each treatment was more harrowing and less dignified than the one before. But try as they might, no one could remove the stone from the king's "sword." The skies grew dark as did the king's mood. And when he could huff no more, he lay down on his grand bed and went into the deepest of sleeps.

And it was on this day that from the depths of the furthest forest came a tiny rustle. It was the haggard ancient paramecium pushing its tiny blob-like body through the dead leaves with its tiny, greasy armlets. For years the ancient paramecium had lived under the canopy and in the wet chill of the forest - despite its microscopic size, so ugly was it that nowhere else could it live in peace. But after so many years of shivering under the rocks and detritus an enormous hunger had driven the hideous creature back into the world of men.

Ever so slowly did the paramecium slink its way onto the road. In time a wagon passed and whisked the fetid microbeast away in the crevice of a wooden wheel. Twas the king's codpiece fitter who drove the wagon with such purpose. In all the huffing and hankering down it seems that the king was in need of certain adjustments to his royal attire. The codpiece fitter had worked through the night blocking out the new piece and was racing to the castle to have it fitted. The ride was long and filled with bumps. The dust was tremendous and most irritating to the paramecium's allergies, and so is slowly made its wiggly way into the back of the wagon where it nestled into a warm cloth encampment lined with the most luxurious purple silk. It was not food but at least it was not the forest. The paramecium too fell into the deepest of sleeps.

To be continued...


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