Tale #134: The Three Wives

There were three wives, who had married three brothers. The priestly wife was jealous of the princess wife, for the princess had a vast castle and abundant riches and the most splendid food cooks could cook, and did not need to worry about the strictures of poverty that held her in place like shackles.

The princess wife was jealous of the priestly wife, for the priestly wife had no politics to preside over, nor no courtly judgements to make, nor any of the other responsibilities that held her in place like shackles.

The dead wife was jealous of no one, for she was a corpse, and free.

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Notes:

1. Written May 15th, 2016
2. At the same time as last week’s tale
3. To which this is a sequel
4. Of sorts
5. And the same apologies and excuses apply here as they did there

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Tale #131: The Swan (A Morality Tale In Miniature)

When I was a child, a swan pecked off the fingers of my right hand, one by one, and swallowed them whole, with a gulp, and a sneer, or so it looked to me then, with those those haughty black eyes, those flecks of my blood smeared upon its beak, as I screamed in horror, screamed in fear, screamed in every possible way a scream is possible to scream.

In the aftermath, as I lay in bed, my hands swaddled in bandages, my body swaddled in quilts and covers, instead of sympathy, or alongside it at least, was an undercurrent of disdain, every empty platitude accompanied by some snort of derision, some admonishment of my judgement, as they made sure to tell me it was my own damn fault. I should have known better. I shouldn’t have been down by the river. I shouldn’t have offered it those last few scraps of bread.

I should have left the poor thing alone.

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Notes:

1. Written on April 1st, 2019
2. And then re-written almost entirely on September 8th, 2020

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If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.