Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Wingnuts and the Two Travelers ~~ A Fractured Aesop Fable

Two men, one who always spoke the truth and the other who told nothing but lies, were traveling together and by chance came to the land of Wingnuts. One of the Wingnuts, who had raised herself to be queen, commanded them to be seized and brought before her, that she might know what was said of her among men.

She ordered at the same time that all the Wingnuts be arranged in a long row on her right hand and on her left, and that a throne be placed for her, as was the custom among men. After these preparations she signified that the two men should be brought before her, and greeted them with this salutation: "What sort of a queen do I seem to you to be, O strangers?" The Lying Traveler replied, "You seem to me a most mighty queen." "And what is your estimate of those you see around me?" "These," he made answer, "are worthy companions of yourself, fit at least to be ambassadors and leaders of armies." The Queen Wingnut and all her court, gratified with the lie, commanded that a handsome present be given to the flatterer.

On this the truthful Traveler thought to himself, "If so great a reward be given for a lie, with what gift may not I be rewarded, if, according to my custom, I tell the truth?" The Wingnut quickly turned to him. "And pray how do I and these my friends around me seem to you?" "Thou art," he said, "a most excellent Wingnut, and all these thy companions after thy example are excellent Wingnuts too." The Queen of the Wingnuts, enraged at hearing these truths, gave him over to the teeth, claws and Second Amendment remedies of her companions.

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