Monday, September 12

picking apart stories

"So what do you think the story meant? I mean, it obviously could not have happened to a real knight." He stood up and stretched. It had been a longer story than he'd originally thought it would be, and even the teller looked weary with the telling.

"Don't ruin it!" She clapped her hands over her ears. "I don't want to know. Can't you just leave it alone and let it be beautiful?" She let her hands stray but warily back to her embroidery.

"I think somebody wanted to make something out of it--not discussing it wouldn't do the work justice." Reluctant to sit down, he crossed to the table and brought back a cup of ale for the poet, who was grinning. For a split second it shocked him that the man had very few teeth. He smiled back.

Oh, that's just because--ouch," she pricked her finger and took it out from underneath the veil of her sewing frame, "you take the words 'enjoyment' and 'understanding' to mean the same thing." She put the offending finger and its welling drop of blood in her mouth.

"Not necessarily. The truth is what is important, not my enjoyment of it."

"So you can't enjoy something unless you understand it?" She folded her hands in her lap.

"That isn't what I said . . . " he stopped, exasperated, and shook his head. "How could it be, when I'm still spending my evenings perfectly sober, listening to an elf in the guise of an old man and a goose in the guise of a maid!" (The poet cackled toothlessly.) "I don't understand that either."

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