26 Apr E5 Camran – The Conundrum of Siobhan the Sage
Tales of the Kingdom of Camran
Siobhan, the Sage, the hero of our tale, whose intuitive wisdom and analytical mind bring many to her door, on days just like today…
From the moment Siobhan awoke, she knew something was amiss.
The light entering her room had changed, and even with curtains drawn across the window, she somehow felt challenged by external stimuli. Siobhan stood by the front door, and was compelled to draw back the curtains. Looking out, she was no longer blind to the external world. It was right there at her doorstep: She had visitors. Many visitors, uninvited.
Knock Knock Knock
She opened the door, and there they were…
The members of her village, gathered together as they seldom were. All nine of them came from different professions, passions, and pasts, but they would only be gathering together at her door for one reason: a problem.
She recognized each of them and understood their concerned, petitioning faces… all but one.
In the middle of the nine villagers, there stood a small person, child-like, yet wrinkled and weathered … a dwarf. His eyes were wide, his lips parted, quivering, bearing his clenched yellow teeth. It was a strange scene, indeed. And it was clear they expected Siobhan to sort it out.
“Yes?” Siobhan asked, hoping for more information.
“I found him snooping through my wife’s belongings,” explained Bartley the Baron. “He was a stranger, an intruder uninvited and not welcome without consent. We don’t know why he was there. Everyone has tried to get him to talk, but he refuses. His only reply to our questioning is this horrible sound.”
As if on cue, the dwarf, teeth still clenched, emitted an earsplitting screech.
His eyes were so wide, it looked as if they would pop right out of his head.
“He almost seems scared, don’t you think?” Hannah the Healer chimed in. “I tried to assist in any way that I could. I asked him if he was hurt, if he needed help, if he was lost, hungry, uncomfortable… but he wouldn’t answer! The sound was so loud and eerie that it drew a crowd. Everyone was curious about this unusually small man. We all tried our best.”
“I thought surely I could get him to speak,” said Peter the Politician. “I haven’t stopped trying since I came on to the scene. I didn’t rest for a minute, did I?” He looked at the crowd, a few nodding in affirmation that Peter did, indeed, try very hard.
“We need to get him to talk,” repeated Bartley the Baron.
“And I’ll do anything it takes,” said the Hannah the Healer.
“And I’ll do more than anything,” said Peter the Politician.
“And what about the rest of you?” asked Siobhan, appealing to the rest of the crew.
“Just look at him,” Meryl the Muse said softly. “I took one look, and I felt it deep within me. I didn’t care about him touching my things. I too, knew that sort of struggle. I knew it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t right to just leave him that way. Deep within ourselves, we all feel what this poor man is feeling, don’t we?”
“His frustration seems to be clouding his judgment,” said Tom the Teacher, all but ignoring the pleas of the Meryl. “There’s no reason for him to refuse to talk. It would be the best thing for him.”
“At first, I thought that with so many opinions, getting together might end in a brawl,” said Gerard the Guardian. “Thinking there was bound to be even more conflict, with so many people getting involved. Yet look at us now! All of us working together! Can you see what’s happening?”
Siobhan could see clearly what was happening, her instincts drawn to the unusual behaviour of the dwarf. She noticed he was drooling at the mouth.
Siobhan took a step closer, observing the liquid dripping from the dwarf’s lips. There seemed to be no logical reason why this would happen, unless he was a bit mad, which wasn’t out of the question, or there was something else in his mouth. Her intuition told her the latter was more likely.
Carefully, she pulled down the lower lip of the dwarf, revealing more of his jaw and teeth, and noticed a sticky substance inside.
“Meryl,” she asked, “what things of yours was this man exploring when Bartley found him?”
“Why, I believe it was my sculpture supplies. I’m in the middle of a heart wrenching piece, which opens the beholder’s eyes to the greater struggle that surrounds…”
“He has eaten glue,” said Siobhan, straightening herself up, while still looking at the dwarf. “He was looking for something to eat, and he mistook your glue for food. Isn’t that right?”
The dwarf nodded, looking simultaneously guilty and relieved.
“Why, of course you’re right!” said Philo the Page, almost yelling, throwing up his hands in celebration. “It’s brilliant! Ha ha! Not such a mystery after all! And you’ll be ok, won’t you, my friend?” Philo hit the dwarf squarely on the back, almost causing him to fall forward.
“We’ve done it then,” said William the Warrior, rubbing his hands on his thighs, as if to rid them of the grubby grease of hard work. “We’ve done it as well as anyone could.”
“And now we know,” said Isaac the Inventor, “that if we just take the time to look with patience, and listen with compassion, there really are no problems. All of this was just a solution waiting to happen. Well done, everyone!”
It was Peter the Politician announcing that he would be the one to free the dwarf, leading him to the nearby well to wash out the paste, there were handshakes and congratulations all around. The crowd eventually dispersed, and Siobhan returned, gratefully, to her bedroom.
She looked around and realized with satisfaction that the sunlight poured evenly into her room once more.