A Sliver of Truth

Once there was a girl who knew every nook and cranny from which to spy on her folk.  And she spied on everyone. She spied so much that she rarely spoke because she felt she knew too much about everyone else and it made it difficult to speak without accidentally spilling the beans.  

One day she spied on a girl who she hadn’t seen before because all she did was stay in her room and talk to herself.  She looked so lonely that it made her really sad. She might as well have stayed in her room too since she’s always hiding to eavesdrop on people.  She tried to stop spying but she couldn’t resist knowing a sliver of the truth about anyone she tried to befriend.  

Eventually, the whole village knew about her habit and didn’t care about what she heard for they were good people and felt they had nothing to hide, so they decided to play a trick on her.  They told each other tall tales and stretched the truth as far as it would go. And one villager told another that the girl was going to have both her eyes poked out for peeping and her ears plugged up for good but they weren’t going to cut out her tongue because she needed to start spilling her own beans.

She peeped through a hole in her imagination and saw herself wandering through the village blind and deaf and spilling beans everywhere.  This was not just a sliver of truth. It felt more like a spear straight through her ears. How could they want to do such a thing to someone as innocent as her?  Off to the rival village she went and told them everything she knew about her village in exchange for a place in theirs.

While she told stories about her folk, they heard what it said about her.  The slivers of truth had gathered into a jagged mass of exaggerations and loose connections. In fact, to their ears, it was difficult to distinguish even a grain of truth in what she had to say let alone a sliver.  The rival village quickly told her that they would rather she go back and stay in her village and not live with them.  

With nowhere else to go, she returned home and begged that they show mercy for what she had tried to do.  And they told her that they were never going to harm her, but they were trying to scare her into doing something better with herself than spying on them. 

Finally, this sliver of truth struck into her heart. They actually cared about her. She saw how she had taken what she thought was a sliver of truth and ran with it when it was not the truth at all.  And this thought reverberated through all the other times she spied on them. The slivers of truth appeared differently to her now. Less about them and more about her fantasies. From then on, she stopped spying and began to understand more about her folk by interacting directly with them.