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Friday, May 6, 2011

Courtesy, Propriety & Decorum with the Gentle


There once was a castle steeped in clouds upon the highest hilltop. Inside of this castle lived Courtesy, Propriety and Decorum. Every day a messenger-bird would alight upon the outermost turret and bring them news from the valleys below. Every day also, the little messenger-bird would take back a letter from the three. Courtesy would write 'Dear' at the beginning, Propriety would compose the content, and Decorum would scent the paper lightly, and then seal it with a modest yet dignified insignia. 

One day there came an envelope, when upon opening, out fell a rock dropping onto the ground before them. No words on parched paper this time, just a rock. "What shall we do with it?" they asked themselves.

Courtesy took the rock and threw it at the bird.

Propriety took the bird and wrapped it in a pure white sheet.

Decorum embroidered an emblem for its wrapping. 

The small parcel sat on the stone wall for three days. 

Courtesy, Propriety and Decorum had gone to the turret each day - largely from habit - wanting very badly to receive yet one more letter to then respond to. But of course nothing came.

Below where the parcel lay was a little recess in the wall, a very small but dark hole. Courtesy noticed something in there. Propriety pushed a thin twig into it and moved the object around. Decorum lifted it out. It was a tiny sky-blue egg.

"What shall we do with it?" they asked themselves.

Courtesy moved toward the egg, wanting to touch this new prize, but it fell from Courtesy and smashed messily in a spill. Propriety cleaned it up. Decorum made a lacquer with the contents, using the paste with thin leaves of gold to now decorate the little parcel still lying on the turret wall.

A day or an age or so later (it was very difficult to tell in that faraway place) a great eagle came to visit. It had been scouting around looking for the little messenger-bird, concerned for its welfare, not having returned some time ago. 

The eagle appeared not to notice or comprehend the small white gold-embellished embroidered package, but instead addressed the three with his pressing question.

"I am looking for the little messenger-bird, have you seen him, do you know of his whereabouts?"

The three took this question, and asked themselves, "What do I do with this?"

Courtesy blushed, Propriety stammered and Decorum stood stiffly composed. "Have you brought us any letters?" they asked hopefully.

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