Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday Johnson Fable

No. 4 (Saturday, 31 March 1750)

“[A]lmost all fictions of the last age will vanish, if you deprive them of a hermit and a wood, a battle and a shipwreck.”

A Shipwreck came upon a Wood and said, “I feel pointless without my Battle. Could you direct me toward a fiction?”
The Wood responded, “I’m not much better off than you since I’ve lost my Hermit. All I can think of now is solid fact.”
Said the Shipwreck, “You don’t suppose your Hermit ran off with my Battle?”
“I have heard him talk of ‘wrestling with demons.’ Does that sound like your Battle?”
“Not like the Battle I’ve come to know and love, but it seems I don’t know my Battle like I thought I did.”
“Where might they have gone?”
“I don’t know, but they’ve probably made a wonderful life for themselves,” said the Shipwreck, tearing up. “I’ve always felt like I couldn’t really satisfy my Battle.””And I’ve always been trying to tell my Hermit that he shouldn’t worry about being enough for me. I might be a vast, impenetrable Wood, but he is near and dear to me.”
“You know what?” said the Shipwreck, wiping its eyes. “I think we’re making our own fictions right now.””Yeah,” said the Wood. “Buck up, we’ll be all right on our own.”

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