Monday, November 28, 2011

Underfables: The Nemesis Glass

    The Nemesis Glass

          Once upon a time, a seller of snake oil denounced the goddess Nemesis. He preached that Nemesis was an evil-doer, that she hated the city for its freedom, and that only he could protect the people.

          The people heard his words and they trembled. They gave up their money for his crown, and their liberty for his throne. They made him king, and he ruled with a whim of iron.

          Soon the news reached Nemesis herself. The goddess was enraged by the king’s lies, and annoyed by the people’s credulity; so she vowed to destroy the demagogue and teach the people a lesson.

          So Nemesis entered the city, wearing the shape of a citizen. The king punished that citizen, but then Nemesis took another person’s form; then another, and another, and another. The king pursued the goddess, punishing subject after subject until the whole city hated him, and the people rose up in revolt.

          The king hid within the palace, but a mob broke the gate and surged through, bearing torches, pitchforks and a noose. They found him trembling under his throne; they pulled him out, and he cried, “Who could have done this to me?”

          They dragged him past his favorite looking-glass; he took a look within, and there he saw Nemesis.

       Commentary on the Underfable:
       Another implicit moral. This Greek tragedy teaches us, among other things, that Nemesis fights dirty.

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