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Mother, the light has grown grey in the sky; I do not know what
the time is.
There is no fun in my play, so I have come to you. It is
Saturday, our holiday.
Leave off your work, mother; sit here by the window and tell me
where the desert of Tepāntar in the fairy tale is?
The shadow of the rains has covered the day from end to end.
The fierce lightning is scratching the sky with its nails.
When the clouds rumble and it thunders, I love to be afraid in my
heart and cling to you.
When the heavy rain patters for hours on the bamboo leaves, and
our windows shake and rattle at the gusts of wind, I like to sit
alone in the room, mother, with you, and hear you talk about the
desert of Tepāntar in the fairy tale.
Where is it, mother, on the shore of what sea, at the foot of
what hills, in the kingdom of what king?
There are no hedges there to mark the fields, no footpath across
it by which the villagers reach their village in the evening, or
the woman who gathers dry sticks in the forest can bring her load
to the market. With patches of yellow grass in the sand and only
one tree where the pair of wise old birds have their nest, lies
the desert of Tepāntar.
I can imagine how, on just such a cloudy day, the young son of
the king is riding alone on a grey horse through the desert, in
search of the princess who lies imprisoned in the giant's palace
across that unknown water.
When the haze of the rain comes down in the distant sky, and
lightning starts up like a sudden fit of pain, does he remember
his unhappy mother, abandoned by the king, sweeping the cow-stall
and wiping her eyes, while he rides through the desert of
Tepāntar in the fairy tale?
See, mother, it is almost dark before the day is over, and there
are no travellers yonder on the village road.
The shepherd boy has gone home early from the pasture, and men
have left their fields to sit on mats under the eaves of their
huts, watching the scowling clouds.
Mother, I have left all my books on the shelf--do not ask me to
do my lessons now.
When I grow up and am big like my father, I shall learn all that
must be learnt.
But just for to-day, tell me, mother, where the desert of
Tepāntar in the fairy tale is?
|Art of Worldly Wisdom Daily|
In the 1600s, Balthasar Gracian, a jesuit priest wrote 300 aphorisms on living life called "The Art of Worldly Wisdom." Join our newsletter below and read them all, one at a time.
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