Friday, February 15, 2013

Underfables: The Ring of Truth

             The Ring of Truth

             Once upon a time, a Hobbit merchant sold a packet of pipeweed to a Wizard in exchange for the Ring of Truth. The Wizard intoned, “Young Halfling, respect this amulet’s power; for Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believed.” In response to these words, the Ring of Truth resounded;

             Much impressed, the Hobbit wore the Ring of Truth on a chain around his neck. During his stay in Rivendell, he sold pipeweed to mages, sages, bards, knights and princesses; and he listened hard to what they said; but though they all were glad to speak at length, not once did the Ring of Truth resound.

             The Hobbit sold out his sack of pipeweed, so he returned to the Shire for more. There he visited a tavern, where a drunken Dwarf called the King of the Men a “stupid crazy brigand who couldn’t fight his way out of a cobweb”. The Ring of Truth resounded; ting! A brawl ensued; and the Hobbit, battered and bruised, fled the scene. He ran across the high way; an Elf on horseback jolted to a halt just in time, and then berated the Hobbit loud and long for his carelessness, while the Ring of Truth rang again and again.

             Back in his burrow, the Hobbit said to the Ring of Truth, “I hate you!”
             “You’re irreverent! You’re disrespectful! You’re dangerous!
             Everybody hates you!”

             So he sold it to a Troll for a half-eaten slab of stale waybread.

             You can’t handle the truth.

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