A Drunken Tale


Tortoise (Photo credit: frefran)

Provide me with wine and I’ll tell you a tale. Not a long one though, because I will pass out before I finish and you will be served better with half a tale than a tenth of one.

I served the tortoise once, you know, when his shell was still unbroken. Now his home is ashes and ruins and there is still salt in his fields. The people from his valley are hungry or fled or both if they are especially unlucky, but it was the tortoise I was telling you about.

He was a good lord, better than anyone around these days, but being a good lord and a good general is not the same. The only tactic the tortoise knew was to crawl inside his shell and hope for his enemies to pass him by or break on his walls. And what good are walls when someone from the inside opens them up?

You’ve heard they were opened, sure, but did you know it was by his own son?

Oh why do young men do things? For honour, wealth or love, you can be sure of that.

Him, it was for love.

Oh, she was beautiful, yes, just like her mother, and kind and gentle.

Do not mind the tears; it is just an old wound acting up. I would have killed her myself if I had known how much that love would destroy.

No, none of them are alive today. No. Old cowards survive to see younger and better people in their graves. Now leave me. I hear mother sleep calling me, if she is merciful, she will send me no dreams.

Use of the Word: Lost

A bird welcomes the morning outside my window, my eyes are still closed and you are afraid that you might have “lost” my love.


Lost, as in you hid it under the bed, but then forgot where you put it?

Lost, as in threw out some old stuff and forgot that my love was in between the crumpled paper somewhere?

Lost, as in you lent it to an old friend and you forgot to get it back before she moved far away and you lost contact with her?

Lost, as in you kept it in your pocket, but one day all your trousers were in the washing except this one really old pair with lots of holes in them, and you put my love in the pocket of those, but there was a hole in the pocket, and my love fell out on some pavement as you went from the doctor’s to the grocery store, and you went back and looked for it, but it was nowhere to be found, and you think someone might have picked it up and taken it home with them?

In any case, you are being silly.

If I know anything for a fact, it is that one cannot lose something which one has never had.

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