There are times when one would pass up the opportunity to acquire gold from a magical lake fairy for a more mundane gift. Like, perhaps, getting rid of your friend when he will not shut up about his chicken.
What is up with these two? For friends, they sure are hostile toward each other! Seems like every other day they’re electrocuting each other, poisoning one another, or throwing the other through a tree.
This comic is based on one of Aesop’s Fables. For those somehow unfamiliar with the Fables, they are marvelous (and usually quite short) tales full of talking creatures, fairies, monsters, and personified elements that impart moral truths or interesting observations to the reader. Aesop is responsible for many of the tropes we use today in modern fiction, especially those found in children’s books. This particular story is one of the most well known, though it is largely due to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the Super Nintendo.
The proper tale goes like this:
“A workman, felling wood by the side of a river, let his axe drop by accident into a deep pool. Being thus deprived of the means of his livelihood, he sat down on the bank and lamented his hard fate. Mercury appeared and demanded the cause of his tears. After he told him his misfortune, Mercury plunged into the stream, and, bringing up a golden axe, inquired if that were the one he had lost. On his saying that it was not his, Mercury disappeared beneath the water a second time, returned with a silver axe in his hand, and again asked the Workman if it were his. When the Workman said it was not, he dived into the pool for the third time and brought up the axe that had been lost. The Workman claimed it and expressed his joy at its recovery. Mercury, pleased with his honesty, gave him the golden and silver axes in addition to his own. The Workman, on his return to his house, related to his companions all that had happened. One of them at once resolved to try and secure the same good fortune for himself. He ran to the river and threw his axe on purpose into the pool at the same place, and sat down on the bank to weep. Mercury appeared to him just as he hoped he would; and having learned the cause of his grief, plunged into the stream and brought up a golden axe, inquiring if he had lost it. The Workman seized it greedily, and declared that truly it was the very same axe that he had lost. Mercury, displeased at his knavery, not only took away the golden axe, but refused to recover for him the axe he had thrown into the pool. “
If you’re looking for a quick way to dive into the world of myth and folktales, Aesop’s Fables are a great place to start. They’re short and sweet, interesting, and they impart wonderful truths to the reader, making them ideal for adults and children alike. If you have kids of your own or plan to have them, you could do far worse than to read them a few fables before bed.
In other news, this Friday will mark the two year anniversary of Happle Tea! It’s hard to believe it’s already been two years, and yet, it feels like it’s been longer at the same time! Either way, it’s terribly exciting to hit another big milestone. Hooray!