Victor Padula Fables for a Degenerate Culture: the blacksmith

Fables have long been a part of our collective heritage. In prehistoric times, fables were simple tales based on little more than the fact that people found the notion of a talking coyote to be fucking hilarious. As human societies grew and became more complex, so did the talking coyote stories. By the time the greeks rolled around, humans had figured out that they could make up stories about all kinds of talking animals.

Also, people were realizing that the subjects explored in these stories could quite easily deviate from the traditional discussions about the weather and persistent lower back pain. Some really ambitious storytellers even decided that their fables should actually have a point. Since that time, fables have been the vehicle by which wise men share their insights with the masses. Without the fable we would have no idea how to deal with trolls, thorns in paws, and all the other practical real-life scenarios that they prepare us for. Unfortunately the kids today just don’t seem to have the time for fables. It’s not just that they’re too busy, it’s that they don’t relate.

The problem is that the fables that we’re used to were written for a bygone era. No longer is it necessary to educate the people about thing such as honesty, nobility, or how much to compensate the orphanage when the mangy street rat they sent over died of creosote-related asphyxiation. That’s why we need new fables. Fables that reflect our contemporary values, dreams and aspirations.

The Blacksmith:

In a small town on the edge of the alps there lived a great blacksmith. So renowned was he in his craft that people would come from all throughout the province to purchase his wears. The previous year had brought a poor harvest to his village, but many of the villages in the valley had returned much better yields. The winter that year was very cold, and the people of the village feared that some among them may starve before the spring. The blacksmith though was wise. He took his pay in kind and even in the coldest, darkest days of winter his cupboards overflowed with enough bounty to preserve the villagers until the frost did eventually break. He would often laugh as they pleaded with him from the window and say “How is this my problem?"


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