Sunday, April 05, 2009


Someone had been left on a porch in a basket as an infant; the classic fairytale beginning. He must have been the illegitimate son of a king, or otherwise noble born, and abandoned to anonymity to spare his life. Or perhaps a prince from another world hidden in ours from his enemies. So he always held his head high, remembering that he had something in common with Moses. His son likewise turned his nose up just slightly and remembered that he was different from those around him, and so his son’s son as well.
They were clever men, intelligent, makers of things. The son built a big house with his own hands on the corner of a popular street and two more generations were born in that house. Eventually the grandson of that first abandoned prince journeyed across the seas in search of opportunity, bringing with him his wife and their own little son. That son grew up in the distant land upon which they landed and eventually had a child of his own, not a son, but a daughter.
She only once heard the story of the basket but she never forgot it. Even without having heard it, she knew already that she was somehow different, better than everyone around her. This special pride born of nothing more substantial than white skin and wit was tempered by a Christian upbringing, so that even as she was arrogant, she felt a twinge of guilt that she should be fortunate to be so perfect while others were, by no fault of their own, born into vulgar families. She sympathized with those that she thought lowlier than herself and rarely met someone that she would see as better than herself.
Brought up in a large house in the country, she was lavished with every possible trinket, a fabulous play house, marvelous pets, her own room with a king sized bed. A golden plaque, with the Lord’s Prayer inscribed upon it, was hung on the wall beside her bed.
In her most vulnerable years, pride kept her from harms way, pride made her selective of her company and her occupations. She liked to read and could read and speak better than most of those from the country town where she lived.
It was not long however before her pride had turned to arrogance and it left her isolated. Her sympathy went to the devil who seemed to have suffered an affliction similar to her own. She lived up to the adage, “Pride cometh before the fall.” Once that pride had been a thing that allowed her to do as others dared not, to be as others dared not, but now it held her like a reign. If she imagined that she had been offended, pride commanded some action, even if affection dictated another course.
Her circle of associates grew smaller and smaller until there was only one left, a person that she held in great esteem. She seldom left her house or spoke to anyone outside of this one companion. And then, again and again, one thing or another that he said or did injured her precious pride and, more than once, she thought that she would have to forsake his company as well, in order to preserve some of this imaginatively produced regal bearing.
With difficulty, she observed that the gift of her forefathers, which had born her far into this strange and mysterious world, now threatened to throw her into a lower realm than she had previously imagined. But like the princess that refused all suitors and insulted them, she too found herself in the hands of the one that could not be insulted, a king thrush beard. Like that princess, she was put to tasks which challenged her pride and wore it away as the wind and sea erode the sandy cliffs.
Someone had been left on a porch in a basket in the distant past. The classic fairy tale end must come to pass eventually, but our prideful girl has not yet had all of her pots broken in the market place, and there can be no fair prince until then.

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