The Plain Faced Villagers

Once there was a village of plain faced people. Not only were they plain in face but everything about them seemed plain. In the plainness of their appearance, their work, and their art, they found great comfort. They found everyone alluring in their attractive plainness and valued what they called normal above everything else. They preached the golden rule to do onto other plain faced people as they would do onto themselves. They would often say that nothing beat such a plain face as theirs because no other face measured emotions as well. Seeing excitement overcome a plain face was like watching the wind blow over a field of wild grass. Gratifying indeed.

Then the One was born. The One was anything but plain. The One had the most captivating face. The One’s body seemed made from a divine hand. The One radiated in words and behavior. The whole plain village was dumbfounded until they felt their plainness in a different way. It was uncomfortable. This discomfort spread ideas until it seemed that the only way to preserve their old pride about being plain was to banish the One. And that is what they did. So the One went on to be celebrated by other villages and the One reached the throne and received knighthood.

Back in his home village, the plain folk hated hearing about the One’s success. And they had spent probably more time ranting about the One than when he was one of them. And when the One returned to visit his home – to rub their noses in it as they put it – they ambushed him and took away his good looks by cutting up his face and disfiguring his body. They poisoned him with a foul tea and it only gave him a few more moons to live.

The One begged them for forgiveness but they refused to accept it. He stayed in the village and begged all of them for any help he could perform in his crippled state. The One showed such exceptional humility that it made them sick to their rotting tummies. And they used him until he died.

When the rest of the kingdom came to the village to pay their respects, they were convinced that these ugly people were impostors who must’ve killed the plain faced people who used to populate the village. Who else could have disfigured and poisoned the One? The once plain faced villagers, however, could not see how their faces had changed over the years from their rancid hatred centered on the One nor could fathom why the others from the kingdom were giving them such strange looks.

Under the king’s swift orders for the brutal murder of the One and for the assumed massacre of the plain faced people (whose bodies were never found), the village of brutal impostors was removed from the face of the earth.

A Blind Duel

Once there was an old man who thought he was young and there was a young man who thought he was old.  The old young man challenged the young old man to prove who was the youngest and who was the oldest of all. 

They agreed to hold three competitions. One to see who could row the fastest across a lake. Another to see who could outwit the other at a game of  trivia. And the third to see who could woo a lady.

The first proved that the young man was much younger than he thought. The second that the older was a lot older than he had hoped.  But the third ended in a tie because the lady could not be lured by the strange display of decrepit youth or stupid maturity. Of course, the young man was offended that she had called him stupid and the old man was also very insulted when she uttered that foulest of words, decrepit.  After she told them that they had gotten her insults backwards, neither understood what she meant at all.

Furious at their unwillingness to admit the obvious, she lead them to her bedchamber and for a moment both men thought he was the winner. Instead, she stood them before a mirror.

The young man called her a witch when he saw a baby-faced reflection. And the old man called her a sorceress who commanded the dark arts to conjure up such an image of a frail and haggard old toad. 

Thus, the competition solved nothing because fools only try to prove what they believe at the cost of rejecting a simple plain truth.