November 4, 2015


There once was a palace standing all alone on top of a high mountain. The valley below it hid under a motionless blanket of mist. To descend into the mist was a crime, and nobody cared to defy the law, for legends of the horrors waiting in the mist below were more than enough to keep the mountain top dwellers within the the palace walls. A tribe of pelicans flew all the supplies needed to the mountain in exchange for songs and dances performed by the weaver and his daughter, Klopka.

One day in the palace kitchen, Klopka, who was apprenticed there in addition to her weaving and singing duties, hurried to fetch this or mix that in response to the cook’s shouted orders. Klopka was distracted, trying to memorize a new song to be sung for the pelicans that evening, and she bumped into the cook and dropped the bowl of grain she carried. It shattered on the floor, and the grain flew everywhere.

‘Pick up every little bit of that, and twice fast, or there will be trouble for you, Clumsy Klopka,’ said the cook.

Klopka curtsied, as she was expected to do, and sank to the floor to gather the grain. With each piece of grain collected, her resentment grew until it erupted in silent fury, causing her to race up the stairs, through the Grand Hall, out the door, and straight down the mountain toward the valley of mist.

‘What happened?’

‘Come back!’

‘Oh, look!’

Klopka heard nothing. Red anger boiled in her brain. Why must I always … Why can’t others … It isn’t fair … I’ll show them … I …

Klopka suddenly realized she was in the mist. She stopped running and stood terrified, not believing what she had done.

‘Finally,’ said a voice. ‘I’ve been waiting ever so long.’

The mist creature wrapped its arms around Klopka.

‘You’re safe now,’ it said, ‘if you can sing.’

Klopka sang her new song then and there so sweetly that the mist creature wept tears of dew and gave Klopka all the cake and money she desired.

Moral: If you do one thing, learn to sing.

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