The Fable of the Mage’s Spell

It’s been years since I posted anything and it’s time to get back to writing.  I challenged my brother for each of us to write a fable.  Here’s mine and I hope you enjoy it.

In a distant land, one you’ve never heard of, an ancient and powerful mage decided his life had come to an end.  He wanted to give something to his children, and their children, and so on, all the way down the generations.  He had tremendous magic at his disposal and he decided to give his descendants a gift.  He saw that amidst their happiness and joy, they were always struggling to survive, always laboring to keep the wolf of hunger from their door.  And so he settled on the gift of sustenance.  He thought, “If only they didn’t have to struggle for their most basic needs, they would be free to enjoy their lives, free to love and create and experience to their hearts’ content.”  They would never starve, or lack for shelter, or freeze to death, or die of heat stroke, or go hungry.

Unfortunately, as the mage neared death, his mind had become somewhat addled and his thinking was not clear.  The mage thought, “I must be careful, I don’t want to be worshipped as a god after I am gone, or have my descendants waste their precious time trying to learn my secrets rather than living their own lives, so I must find a way to hide the source of this gift.  While everyone will have this gift, I must ensure they don’t know it for what it is.  They will have all of the benefits, but they won’t think about it and they won’t be grateful for it.  This way I can rest in peace and be gently forgotten after I leave this life.”  And in that very thought he made his greatest mistake.

As the mage passed from this life, he wove his most powerful spell and bestowed this incredible gift upon his descendants, instilling it into their lives and the lives of all who would come after.  At the very heart of the spell, he ensured his descendants would never know the gift he bestowed, that they would never even know his name.

Even one generation after he died, his grandchildren had already forgotten what it was to struggle in life, to feel the bite of starvation or the fear of the elements.  And because of the nature of the mage’s spell, his offspring were unaware of the gift bestowed upon them.  His children and grandchildren never felt gratitude for their easy lives, and they never understood that their needs were taken care of.  Their descendants spent all of their days striving to fulfill needs that were already fulfilled.  They were never again content, though all of their needs were satisfied.  They found themselves always working to answer new needs and always desiring more than they had, no matter how large their bounty.  They were never again grateful for their blessings or achievements, and that has been the way of things ever since.

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